Sunday, February 28, 2010

En era of learning


~"No thank you", she says as I offer my assistance in pouring a bowl of cereal. Today she has decided she can do it herself. I don't balk when it dumps out of the bag to the immediate left of her bowl. I chuckle and say "that's ok" while lowering the bowl to the table and scooping the cereal in. She is earnestly trying to accomplish big tasks and I am very aware of the danger involved if I intervene at every turn. The "danger" is this child may never learn to be an adult if mommy always comes to the rescue, or comes to do it "right". These childhood problems are ones I want her to solve. It sets her up for bigger things as she grows.

~ I am in the kitchen when I hear a thunk followed by a clunk. Tilting my head toward the living room I see two shoes on the window sill and magazine rack. From my quick assessment I deduct that she has thrown them at Girlfriend, our cat. "Oh, NO!" I say. "Girlfriend is part of our family, Julia! We take care of our family. We don't throw shoes at her!" She cries because she knows the consequence and my intolerance for bullying the cat! I laughed a little when it was all over - chucking shoes at the cat. New one!

~ She has an increasing appetite for things other than the food I offer. When I drive past Chick-Fil-A she points and says "Let's go this way!" When it's snack time she suggests, "How 'bout some candy?" We passed by Wendy's and she rattled off a list of items she would order. "Fries, chicken, samich, fries, chicken" she says.

~ I opted not to buy the cute little converse shoes that tie. Her footwear has been maintenance free and I enjoy sending her to put them on. She's successful without my help since all her shoes are slip ons and velcros. I imagine her confidence it built as tasks get added to her list of things she can accomplish.

~She doesn't like when I vacuum so I offer her an out by suggesting "book time" in her crib. I feel the same way about dinner, guests, and any activity that we're doing that she is choosing not to be a part of, or feels nervous about. She is welcome to go to her room and take some time to herself. She cheerfully chooses book time over a dinner guest that she's uncomfortable with. Today I thought she would enjoy playing in her room while I vacuum and not just with books in her crib. As soon I said goodbye and shut her door she began to cry, "Book time! Book time!" It proved to me that routine is so important and her crib represents a safe, quiet space for her. I was a little shocked that she wouldn't want to have the entire room to herself but happy to learn that my girl needs me to continue to provide the safety and consistency of every day tasks.

~ She NEEDS rest. She REQUIRES consistency. She FLOURISHES with boundaries. I am confident of this.

And we're both learning a lot about her world.

1 comment:

Diane said...

What a good mom you are! I'm so proud of you!

Diane