Monday, July 20, 2009
Inspired by Bluemilk's honest reflection on her daughter's development, I'd like to write a little about my youngest daughter S. I've not mentioned her in my blog by name, and I suppose I had wondered if there were any 'dangers' in doing this, but I dont believe so. First and foremost, this is a blog for me, and I hope one day my children might read it too, and realise there were some interesting things going on in Mum's life, and that she really does (and did) love us.
Its so easy to focus on the things that annoy us in our children: they interrupt what we are doing, are the constant source of 'work', and require continuous dexterous and creative parenting ( a subject for which I was totally unprepared for) from 0-16 and beyond. Sometimes its easy to forget the many joys that children bring to life, and their uniqueness.
So, Miss S these are the things I love most about you, at age 4 almost 5:
1. As the second daughter, I know that you have found it difficult to assert yourself and your needs in the family, especially with a strong elder sister who has always been bigger, louder, quicker and in most things the leader. And now you are nearly 5, I'm noticing you are starting to stand your ground, and define the things you like to do in the face of opposition from your sister. You are your own person, and its great to see this equally strong will asserting itself.
2. Your love of olives, brie, capers and things that have TASTE. Never afraid to try something new, your food tastes are pretty refined. Strange that you can also be so fussy with your food. Everything must be in a separate bowl, and not messy. Peas separated from carrots etc etc...
3. Silky obsessions: you have always loved things that are silky. You still adore your 'purple blanket' which has been with you from birth. The satin edge is lovingly stroked between your thumb and fingers of one hand, and until recently your other thumb would be firmly planted in your mouth. We explained to you that now you are turning 5, it really was time to stop sucking your thumb, and told you about how it can affect your teeth growing well, and you tried so hard to master comforting yourself with just the blanket. Now you have done it! We hardly see the thumb in the mouth at all! Always good to have an 'emergency silky' just in case the blanket is not around.
4. You listen really well to explanations of how people feel, and are able to empathise with another person's happiness or pain. If I am sad, you will always come to comfort me with your cuddles.
5. I love your giggle, especially when you play the game of blowing the fringe from my face, and I from yours. Such a great happiness bubbles up from your being!
6. You can focus on drawing fabulous pictures that depict scenes from our life, or fantastic creations of your own inventions. Cats have whiskers, people have fingers, toes and expressions. You are trying hard to write all your numbers, and are starting to understand mathematics. You always ask clear questions when you dont understand something.
7. You understand that honesty is important. On a holiday in Bali recently, when everyone had a mint lolly on the car, and you missed out, when another adult requested that you respond honestly when you were queried on this, you wavered a little, but very clearly said that you had not. It was great to see you not cry or get upset, but clearly state your truth.
8. When your big sister is upset, you seem so genuinely worried for her, and that she find a happy resolution to whatever is upsetting her (even if you had something to do with the cause of the upset!) You can forgive quickly, and dont seem to hold onto sadness or moods.
9. You CAN play and draw independently when your big sister is at school.
10. You CAN put on your own clothes, and remember where your library book is. Its amazing how independent you really are