Before my husband and I had children, and we would admire adorable children, I would tease him by saying "it's a shame our children will never that cute." I would say this because I was a very difficult child by temperament. I was stubborn, willfully disobedient almost from birth, and I had an opinion about everything. In my teenage years, one of the greatest gift my parents gave me was they forced me to learn how to deal with my temper in appropriate ways. I expected our children would have at least some of my childhood traits.
My daughter continues to amaze me. At age four, she remains a natural rule follower. Being devious, sneaky, or otherwise circumventing the rules seldom occurs to her. If it does, it is almost always because another child has given her an idea.
Case in point: she is transitioning from nap time to rest time. The rule has been that on rest days, she has to spend an hour in her bed, doing quiet activities like looking at books, playing with stuffed animals, etc. If she feels tired, she'll go ahead and lie down for a nap. Afterward, she'll say "I was going to take rest time, but my body told me it wanted it a nap, so I went to sleep."
Today, she was having a hard time deciding what to bring into her bed, and she was looking longingly at her doll house. I told her she could play quietly in her room. With shock she said "I can be out of my bed?!?"
Getting out of bed had not even entered her mind as a possibility. If it had been me, I think I would have snuck out of bed and played with the dollhouse long ago. I remember being in elementary school and sneaking a flashlight into bed so I could continue reading my books.. and sitting on the foot of the stairs long after bed time, listening to the television my parents were watching.
God has blessed me with a child who teaches me about having a covenant written on her heart. (and she takes after my husband...)