Starry girl is now 3. She’s definitely a getting bigger girl, but sometimes I think we forget how little she is. How much of an effort some things are for her. How much she still has to learn. It makes me think of what we say to our children. How when we want them to do something we tell them they are big, but when we don’t want them to do something we tell them they are little.
“You’re a big boy now, you can get yourself dressed.”
“You can’t have the knife to cut you’re apple – you’re too little.”
It must be really confusing for them. How do they see themselves?
Big and little are relative points on a continuum. They’re bigger than they’ve ever been before, and yet they’ll also never be as small again. I’m constantly amazed by how tall they are (and the things they can now reach!) and what they can do. Rocket boy is a dab hand at Lego – he sits and follows the instructions and can do even the tiny pieces no problem. I love Lego and really enjoy sitting with him while he does it. Though I do have to sit on my hands to stop myself from doing it for him.
That is something that I struggle with. I know they need to learn how to do things on their own and that this will take time. But I get very frustrated when they won’t do things that I know they can (put their coat on) and my first instinct is generally to stop them trying to do new things when they want to have a go (spread butter on their bread/toast). I have to remember to take a deep breath, say OK (if it’s reasonable) and help them without taking over.
My Mum says that being a parent is the opposite of fishing. When you fish you gradually reel the fish into you, whereas a parent is gradually reeling their child out. So that after about eighteen years they are completely independent and can look after themselves. We still have a long way to go for that, but I try to remind myself of this image. As well as waiting for the day that everyone will get themselves dressed and wipe their own bums after going to the toilet!
Until then I just have to let it go 🙂