I think everybody has that one kid who is the "strong-willed child". Yeah, well, that's Haley Rae. It started the day she came home from the hospital. I put this adorable little pink one-piece outfit on her, and she started screaming. She wouldn't even stop long enough for a good picture. That day pretty much set the pace. We could do things the way Haley wanted to do it, or we could do it the hard way.
I sent her to pre-school when she was 3 years old because I really felt like she needed to be around someone other than me. One little ripple in whatever she wanted and we're talking MAJOR meltdown. I thought going to school would teach her compromise, etc. Ummm... not so much. We drove up the first day and she screamed bloody murder. For the next week, the teachers would have to physically pry her fingers off the carseat to get her inside the building. Finally, Haley says "I won't cry if that other lady will get me out". So some poor lady who didn't even have car duty agrees to meet us outside every morning and get Haley out. Geez. Then, I found out that she was standing behind the door in the classroom and pouting until snack time. So what does her teacher do? Moves snack time to 8:45! Basically, sending her to school just re-enforced what she already knew.... pitch a big enough fit and you get your way. Nice...
Haley Rae is A LOT like her daddy. If you know her, you know that's true. Her stubborn streak MIGHT even be wider than his. I remember one Sunday night before church - we were just about to load up and leave when Willard realizes Haley didn't pick up her blocks out of the den floor (she was probably about 4 years old). It went something like this:
WILLARD: Pick up your blocks so we can leave.
HALEY: No, I'm not picking them up.
WILLARD: Yes, you are.
WILLARD: I'm going to spank you if you don't.
HALEY: I don't care.
WILLARD: Now, pick them up!
WILLARD: I'm going to spank you again.
HALEY: I don't care.
To save space, I'll just say "repeat this scene 8 more times". Hunter got so upset and kept saying, "I'll pick them up, Daddy. I will." He didn't want to see her get any more spankings, but it didn't seem to bother her. Finally, me and Hunter went and got in the car, but we never made it to church. After 20 or 30 minutes, I guess Haley got bored with the whole thing and finally picked up the blocks, but by that time it was too late to go to church.
She's also got some of me in her in that she HATES to lose. Even when she tries to act like she doesn't care, you know it's just killing her. She's very competitive and has little patience for those who aren't. I think that's probably why she excels in sports. She's the last girl in her grade to still be playing 3 sports. It's incredibly hard to do that these days. Sports aren't seasonal anymore. Sometimes she'd have all three sports in one day. To her credit, she never complained. Well, I take that back, she complains like crazy, but she loves it.
Another thing she got from me - she has a soft spot for babies. Her tough guy act crumbles when she sees a baby. She is a great big sister to Yuri and Gigi and loved them from the first time she laid eyes on them. Haley Rae is actually the one who declared that we'd be making a run for the border if DHR tried to take them away from us. She said "they WILL NOT take my baby sisters from me" and she meant it. I don't think DHR knew what they were up against. It could have gotten really ugly, so it's a good thing it all worked out.
When Haley was in 3rd grade, she came in and told me that she wanted to be in the Christmas pageant at school THE NEXT DAY. So, in a panicked state, we ran to the mall and got a little red dress and some shoes. I rolled her hair myself and she looked pretty darn cute. We got to the middle school gym and she saw all the people coming in and sitting on the bleachers. She says "What are all those people doing?". I say, "they came to watch the pageant". She says "WHAT??? I am NOT walking out there in front of all those people". Great. I told her she didn't have a choice. So, I went and sat down, not knowing what in the world to expect when she walked out. Well, she walks out like she's done it a million times, without an ounce of nervousness, and WINS! Since that pageant, she's been in several more and always does well. She never gets nervous and I guess it shows!
We tease her about her attitude and her stubborness, but it makes her who she is. She's the one child of mine that I will never worry about someone taking advantage of. She won't take crap off anybody, and that makes me very proud.
She beautiful, opinionated, and talented – and I’m proud to be her mama!!!