I was having a great day. I am the self-proclaimed queen of productivity and even I was impressed with how much I had accomplished. I was patting myself on the back and riding high. Then…Shelby came home from school. After hugs and seizure meds, she went off to the playroom and managed to get into the art center and throw handfuls of beads all over the room (I may never find them all). Exasperated, I shooed her out to clean up the mess before Chuck got home. While in the process, I heard a strange noise from the other side of the house. Shelby had pulled a potted ivy down in my bathroom and was throwing handfuls of dirt in every direction. At this point, I was completely deflated. I could not even wrap my brain around the soil mess yet, so I went back to the playroom. And there, I found my breaking point. The china doll my grandparents gave me when I was a girl laying against the windowsill with limbs akimbo and a shattered leg. Tears started flowing. I was feeling frustrated and hopeless that we could ever own anything that would be safe. In addition to these instances, she has also thrown Dodger’s food out of his bowl, dropped my laptop on the floor, uninstalled my printer (still not sure how she did that), and threw a new digital picture frame I bought for my grandfather – all this week. We do our best to secure what is important or costly, but its not feasible to lock up everything in our house. Nor can we store everything over 6 feet hight (she is tall and has long arms now)! So I wept for the better part of an hour. I know it’s just stuff, but it seemed like a lot of stuff. I realize that all parents experience similar destruction at the hands of their children at some time or another, but somehow it was easier to handle when she was a toddler. Most parents at least have the hope in the midst of the frustration, that their kids will outgrow this behavior and learn to be more responsible. I have no such hope. At 11, Shelby is 21 months old developmentally, with only small chances of progressing out of developmental toddlerhood. I very well may have a forever toddler. There are some blessings hidden here. She still likes to rock and cuddle and LOVES it when I call her my baby. And the innocense in her eyes is something that typical children loose much earlier in life. But those things are easy to forget in the midst of chaos. On this particular day, Shelby’s developmental issues were more than I could take. I resorted to a victim mentality (oh woe is me) – not something I do often. But I wallowed in it this time. I felt tired and alone in this. So I did the only thing that made sense at the time. I went back to picking up beads. While cleaning up I cried to myself and out to God. And when Chuck got home from work, I cried on his shoulder and he sweetly cleaned up the bathroom mess. With the house put back in order, I wiped my tears and started cooking dinner. By the time we were eating, my outlook was much better. I’m so thankful that there are more days that Shelby amazes me than there are days that she frustrates me. Tomorrow I’m praying for one of the amazing ones.