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May 23

It’s Working

Raising children is sort of like a job that’s never actually done.  It’s rare that you can see tangible results, similar to doing laundry or vacuuming or dishes.  By the time I get it done, it’s ready to be done again.  But that’s another post… Milestones, once your baby reaches toddlerhood, are not as pronounced.  Not as obvious.  But this morning, Jessica Mary hit a major milestone, and it was as exciting for me as her first steps.

First – kudos to Samilicious Boy.   Who didn’t do anything awesome this morning, but was his usual, charming self.  Got up, ate breakfast, chatted pleasantly, got dressed and bopped off to school happily enough.

But Jessie – she achieved something this morning that I’ve been waiting and waiting for.  We’ve been working, both of us, on adapting to the fact that she’s not a little kid anymore.  I don’t have to nag her to finish eating or to do her homework or to put on her pajamas and fall asleep.  She asked that I tell her once, and then she’ll do it and get it done.  So I’m trying.  Really hard.  It’s a major adaptation – I’m used to a lot of involved parenting, because I’ve had a baby/toddler for nine and a half years now, and they get easily distracted and forget what they’re doing.  They require frequent reminders, like you have to eat the breakfast I put in front of you, and please don’t forget you have to finish that math sheet.  You need to get your hair brushed and where are your shoes again?  But Jessie is nine.  Almost ten.  And she’d like to take on more control of her life, and I have to learn to step back.  So I’m trying.

Case in point, bedtime.  We discussed, and determined that as long as she was able to show me that she could handle it, by remaining pleasant and getting herself dressed and ready in the morning on time, I’d let her decide for herself when to fall asleep.  Two days into it, and it’s been going well, but this morning, she was groggy and tired.  I had asked her to get up, and she failed to do so.  The third time I went in to get her up, she snapped at me and I caught myself just before I snapped back and calmly pointed out that if she wanted the control over her schedule, she had to prove to me that she could handle it.  And SHE APOLOGIZED.   It was awesome.  She very sincerely apologized and was sweet and pleasant and got her little self dressed and we got to school on time.  My little girl is growing up – and I’m so proud.

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