After about the hundredth time I made those comments to her, it finally struck me. Yes, most of the things I lectured her on she should've known better; she did know better. But I can't say that I'm any different. How many times must God be trying to tell me "Andrea...you should know better than that!" And yes, I do. But that doesn't necessarily stop me from doing something I know I shouldn't.
So why do we expect so much of our children -- as young as 3 1/2 in my situation -- yet we don't even expect it of ourselves? Or maybe we do expect it of ourselves, but we certainly don't always succeed. I'm not saying that I should lower my expectations of Joelle. She is an extremely bright young child who needs to be held accountable for her actions. But I need to remember that she is a child who will make mistakes over and over and over again. And I need to strive to have the same kind of patience with her that God has with me. I was thankful for this lesson and it made me stop and hold Joelle on my lap and ask for her forgiveness. How grateful I am that children are so willing to forgive and forget. She loves me unconditionally and trusts me whole-heartedly even when I feel like I don't deserve it.
I did send her for her quiet time a bit early today, because I really did need a break. But before that, we spent some quality time baking banana chocolate-chip muffins together -- which of course deserved some pictures!!