I think that children in general are given to us by God to keep us on our toes. They reflect back to us what they see and hear us do and say. Sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes, not so much. With our older children, we convince ourselves that it's just because we're still learning to be good parents. Or it was just a bad day, and it's not typical.
But those 3rd or 4th kids...
This face is my conscience. She's also the joy and crazy and imagination and silly in our family. But to me, personally, she is the mirror that reflects back to me all those things that I probably don't want to see about myself.
Granted, sometimes she shows me the good stuff. When she gives me a million kisses at bedtime. And when she tackles me and tells me she loves me when I'm not looking. Or when she whispers, "You're mine," in my ear during a quiet moment of cuddling.
But all too often, it's through her I see the other stuff. When she insists that I put my phone or laptop away to give her 100% attention, and I realize that I've been spending too much time with my nose in my gadgets. When she sasses her siblings or digs in her heels and refuses to do something, and I see my own stubbornness. Tonight it was when she playfully told me that I couldn't go by without using the password. I was supposed to guess the password, and it was a word that I use "a lot." It turned out that the word was one that I would have fussed at my children for using. (Not a cuss word, mind you, but a not nice word just the same). Later when I asked my older daughter if I really did use that word a lot, she nodded shyly. Ugh! I felt about the size of a flea. I apologized to everyone and quickly prayed for God's help to bind my tongue from that.
Yet as embarrassing and frustrating as it can be, I really am so grateful that God would bless me in this way. I never have to worry about becoming too prideful. There will always be someone around to keep me humble.
That being said, if you know her and she tells you some story about me. Rest assured that it may well be true. Just don't tell me about it. I don't need the reminder.