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Little Miss Independent
by Bonnie MeyerRosa
Independence - being free from outside control or influence.
We all strive for this as we are growing up. Most of us probably started really pushing for it in high school, maybe a little sooner or maybe even a little later. When our children are born we have wishes and dreams for them (and ourselves) that they will one day be independent and thrive as functioning adults. This independence starts to form and shape in the younger years when they realize that they can dress themselves and feed themselves.
My kids are a little different. My son still lies on the bed motionless and let’ me get him dressed in the morning. I know he can dress himself, I’ve seen him do it on numerous occasions. He just would rather not. He also would let me feed him and wipe his ass if I wanted to - which I don’t! He is ambitious with some things but I wouldn’t call him “independent.”
My two year old daughter, on the other hand, is “Little Miss Independent.” She has been trying to “do it herself” since she was born. She started grabbing her own bottle way before I was ready for her to, fought to crawl early, and it seems like she has been talking forever.
She wants to dress, feed, and change herself. She demands to do her own hair and buckle her car seat. I can’t help her open her juice box and since she doesn’t have the dexterity or strength to open it herself she ends up getting very frustrated.
Many people told me it was because she has an older sibling that she tries to keep up with. I think there is something in her chemical makeup that is already encouraging her to rebel against her mother! Anything that I try to help her with she yells, “I do it myself!” This is all well and good until we are five minutes from running out of the door and then the chaos starts.
I encourage her independence and willingness to try it on her own but there are still times it is a hell of a lot easier for me to just do it for her. Where do I draw the line? Well, there are no lines in my daughter's world. There's just one big circle around her. it’s Karlie’s World and no one is going to tell her otherwise.
She is my baby princess but from the way things have been progressing I would say I am in BIG TROUBLE!
Bonnie's pretty sure it's Karlie's World and we're all just here for something.
Some of the best lessons I learned as a kid were a result of me fucking up because I thought I could do it all.
Seeing your parents cursing under their breath as they help you fix the thing they originally wanted to help you with anyway.... yeah that's a shameful feeling.
Posted by: Dan | January 24, 2007 10:08 AM
My wife and I are going through the same thing with out little beast right now. Every day, he seems a little more independent and a little more stubborn about doing things his way. I have no idea where he gets that from. His mother and I are such calm, reserved and easygoing people.
There's a fine line between letting him do it himself and having him fuck it up and having us just do it for him. For my wife and I, it really comes down to time. If I have the time to clean up whatever mess I know he's going to make, sure, I'll let him do it until the cows come home. But if we're late, he gets the "Suck it up, I'll do it" as soon as he insts on doing it himself.
Posted by: thefinn | January 24, 2007 11:17 AM
I agree with you TF! If I have the time she can put her coat on inside out and upside down for all I care! When I am crunched for time the major meltdown begins!
Posted by: Bonnie | January 24, 2007 8:31 PM