Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Always Be My Baby

I'll be honest, I take a lot of pride in what my daughter can do an accomplish. There was a time where I felt a little guilty, and even boastful when I brought it up - but I realized that if you start feeling guilty about pride in your child, you may never affirm to your child that you are indeed proud. My parents are very humble folk, and so they have never shown pride in their children, and because of this, we never felt that we had anything to be proud of. Actually, we felt we were never actually good enough. I do try not to gloat too much, but there is much to be proud of!

Today's world promises tomorrow's leaders. Children have more opportunity, smarter parents and more information at their finger tips. Preschool comes in varying formats, including Junior Kindergarten that promises to produce kids that can read and count before they turn 5! And why not for those that are able.

Ability comes at all ages and in all forms. There are 40 year olds that have no clue what they want to do in life and there are 3 year olds that are composing their own music. Neither are better or worse, just different. Shunning and naysaying about methodoligies just because you do not agree with them is actually being ignorant. Nothing works for everyone, and as parents we just have to judge, hopefully, what is best for our very own very unique children.

It's true that most boys tend to be a little slower when it comes to particular skills. And it is also true that girls are not as strong as boys. They're built differently, and genetically, they are different. Women, just don't bald. The 'baldness gene' is influenced by testosterone. So if you have one parent that carries the baldness gene and they have a boy - the boy will be bald. If they have a girl, she will not be bald. If both parents have the baldness gene, then the girl may have wispy hair - but not ever be bald. These are just plain facts. Gross motor skills come quicker for girls and girls tend to, for the most part, speak sooner. But that doesn't mean that a 3 year old boy is any worse off than a 3 year old girl, just because she is speaking sooner. By the time they are both 5, they both will be speaking. Same goes for walking, same goes for any of that!

If your child is clingy, and not ready - it's okay to hold them back a little. Nurture the nature of your child and when your child feels safe and secure - they'll be ready. I truly truly believe that. Sometimes pushing a child too hard might actually be traumatic. The most important thing in all of this, is to really know your child, be close enough to understand and read the cues. Honor your child by listening to their feelings, how they react to strangers, people. How they feel when they've done something wrong or right. Learn your child's love language. When they misbehave - is it just a product of the environment, or is it a cry for something that is bothering them deeper. As parents, it is our responsibility to not just dismiss things that happen, but to figure out why they did and understand what happened, and what needs to happen to ensure that the child feels safe, secure and loved.

Our decision to put our little girl into preschool was because we felt she was ready. She has been potty trained at 2 years, including naps and bedtime. Her venacular is surprising for her age and she is a bright, sunny and happy child. She loves to learn, loves to read and be read to, and she loves being around other children. Her mind is a sponge and she craves to fill it. When I first dropped her off, she ran away from me, eager to get to her class. Each day is filled with wonderful stories of what she's done. She often corrects me when I make a mistake in my own wording. Yesterday, she learned a new sound ssssssssss ssssssssssss is for sssssssssssnake. So we came up with some other s words and we keep things light and easy and we never ever push her too hard.

I picked her up at child minding as I was working late, and she was playing trains. She got upset that she had to go, because she was, playing trains! She wrapped her arms around herself and made a pouty face, and I reminded her to use her words. She lit up when she was reminded that she colored a picture for me (which is hanging in my office right now) and she found our van in the parking lot, and she told me she made a bracelet at the cottage (her daycare). I marvelled at how much she has grown and how my little baby is now a little girl.

And after dinner, when her body became exhausted from a full day's event, she turned to me and asked me to pick her up. And I smiled at her and lifted her up over my very pregnant belly. I held her really tight and rocked her gently while kissing the top of her head. She cooed like a little baby.

Although my girl is growing and getting so big. Although she is expected to be independant and do whatever she can on her own - whenever my big girl wants to be a baby - I know, deep, deep, deep in my heart, she can always come to me. And I will always let her be my baby.

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