Some things get clearer the older you get. Some people discover (at 30-something) what they want to be when they grow up or that they don’t really want to have children or that a midlife crisis may not come in the form of a car. Some journeys of self-discovery can take decades, some take years, months or just days.
I’ve spent a lot of time rah-rahing about how my life isn’t as bad as people think it is, and I stand by that. But as I was driving to meet my friend L for dinner a few weeks ago (a half hour late) as she prepared for her wedding, I realized that I’m not being entirely honest. So it’s time for an apology – of sorts.
This post is nearly a week late, but I couldn’t finish the week without acknowledging my munchkin’s third birthday.
On Monday, whenever someone asked K about the crown she was wearing or what was special about the day, she would explain, “It’s Happy Birthday to Me!!” When one of her teachers said to her, “Oh it’s your birthday? Could it be my birthday too?” K replied: “Well, it could be your birthday, but it’s not because it’s my birthday, but it would make you sad if I told you it wasn’t your birthday, so we can pretend it’s your birthday if you want even though it’s actually my birthday.” The teacher said she’s never been told “no” quite so politely in her life.
But this is K. She’s smart and articulate, crazy and hilarious. Her thought process is fascinating to watch and her individual sense of self and style is something I hope devoutly that she keeps in the face of peer pressure as the years go on.
There are some moments where you can see a flash of the person you hope your child is becoming. It’s hard to know during those moments how much of it is brainwashing (admittedly by me), desire to please you, their own personality or good upbringing (:-)). But they sure do make you feel good inside.
K’s teachers are constantly telling me that she speaks her mind (loudly). One of her teachers calls her “fresh.” Which is probably more accurate than my preferred word of “sassy” since it communicates her tendency to defy authority from time to time.
At any rate – judge for yourself yesterday’s scenario:
One of the things about parenting that people talk a lot about but you don’t really appreciate is how you feel when your kid tells you that someone hurt her. In this instance, I don’t mean physically – Day care/pre-school has its perils, so my kid has been pushed, bitten, kicked and had her hair pulled, but mostly it all falls under what I would call reasonable expectations. Here, I’m talking about the emotional hurt – and the realization that your kid not only mature enough to feel it, but also has grown enough to articulate it. Case in point:
K: “I’m Mommy, and you’re Katherine.”
Me: “So I’m Katherine?”
M: Then I must be really cute.
K: And smart!
That’s my girl. Second interlude involves our seemingly never-ending potty training battle. Continue reading