When I was younger, there were quite a few things I said that I would never say now. Not bad things. Just things like, “I don’t care how healthy it is- it tastes good!” 2012 Annie Beth would like to go back and smack some sense into 1992 Annie Beth now.

But, some of the most presumptuous things I ever said had to do with children. I spent a large part of my high school/college/early marriage doing jobs like babysitting, nannying, working at day cares, working at preschools, etc. This really did help prepare me for parenting, and I am grateful for all the experience. However, it also gave me a chance to form quite a few opinions on what my future children were going to be like. And so, I ended up saying things that now look very ignorant to me. Things like this:


My child will never be a picky eater.

(I have a child that will reject things based on texture and temperature.)


My child will learn to go to sleep on his own.

(I have a child that requires you to lay with him until he falls asleep.)


My child will get over this whole crying-and-screaming-at-nursery-drop-off thing.

(I have a child that cries every time I drop him off at child care.)


My child will never throw a fit like that.

(I have a child who has thrown that fit. At home. In public. Anywhere you can think of, really.)


My child will be potty trained when he is 2.

(I have a child that is 3 1/2 and is not yet potty trained.)


My child won’t be sucking a passy after they turn 2.

(I have a child that sucked his passy well into his second year.)


My child won’t be dressed like ____.

(I have a child that is dressed in whatever we can find that is clean and that he won’t pull off.)


My child won’t think he can just get his way.

(I have a child that eats off the same red plate every day.)


My child won’t be playing video games when we go out to eat. He’ll be sitting at the table learning to be patient and to make pleasant conversation.

(I have a child who does not stay seated at the table when we go out to eat. He most likely will be found walking around the outside of the restaurant with one of his parents.)


My child will love books.

(I have a child who does not follow a plot more complicated than “Where’s Spot?”)


I love working with kids with autism- but I hope I never have one.

(I have a child that’s been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.- Proverbs 19:21 ESV


Annie Beth Donahue is the founder of Signposts Ministries and the mother of four children, and each of them have special health needs. Annie Beth is a specialist in musical therapy and a talented singer. She and her husband, Brad, live near Charlotte, North Carolina.