All of this, plus probably a bit of her age and other factors about her temperment, means she's going through a "phase" right now. It's not a bad phase, but I just can't think of better word to describe how she's sort of changed in the past few weeks. She's become more-than-ever eager to do things on her own, things like prepare a snack or breakfast, get out her school supplies, or fold a pile of clothes all by herself. Especially kitchen items though, so much so that I've rearranged the pantry a bit so that she can reach some breakfast and snack items, and I've very much reassured her that she'll be more than welcome to cook on the stove and wash ALL the dishes in a couple of years! That day can't come soon enough for her though!
|getting snack ready for me|
I've gone back and forth with my parenting style, sometimes letting her venture out and discover things completely on her own (even since she was a baby) and sometimes micro-managing her activities. As she's gotten older I've realized there's a balance of somewhere in between. I'm desperately trying to hold on to these last few years of her being a "little" girl, and she's desperately trying to grow up and be a big girl. She's started to use language that has made me realize she's developing a new sense of autonomy, saying things like, "I don't have to do what you say," and "I don't want to, I'm going to do what I want instead." The first few times it made me feel angry, but now I just have to laugh a little to myself because she's so stinking cute! I'm certain that her language and her attitude of wanting to be self-sufficient means she's heading into a mental growth spurt of sorts, and I'm waiting to see how else it's going to play out!
Despite what appears to be grumpiness or a bad attitude (sometimes), she's still amazing at her ability to talk through and rationalize her feelings and attitude. She knows when she needs to cool down and will tell me she has to go into her room for a few minutes, and when she comes out in her own time we talk about her choice of words, how we both felt, and what we can do to make it better the next time. I just don't believe how rational she is and how well she can put her feelings into words. Sometimes she'll also draw it out for me, and those pictures really are worth 1,000 words!
I hear her talk to Luke and Jack and it stops me in my tracks because I know she's learned "that tone" from me. She's very aware of everything Ryan and I talk about; we can't even spell words in front of her anymore as she quickly figures out what we were talking about! I feel like this next step in child rearing is going to be very mentally challenging for me, forcing me to face things about myself that I don't care for as I try to set a good example for her.
I know I should be jumping for joy that she's able to- and wants to- help me more around the house. She can change Jack's diaper! She can put on Jack's shoes! She can get cereal for breakfast, organize the bookshelf, and wipe off the table! It's just making me face the fact that my little girl is growing up, and I'm not sure how ready I am for the next stage!
As she continues to grow mentally and physically, I've seen her grow spiritually as well. She seems to understand concepts of God and life that should be way out of her league, but I've learned that's probably where the saying, "Out of the mouths of babes" comes from! She's always telling me she wants to do God's will for her life, and I encourage her but I also try to steer her into very kid-friendly topics. I am a little concerned she'll be a bit scrupulous! I want her to have a healthy understanding of God's love for her!
I guess whether I'm ready or not, she's growing and I've got to figure out how to keep up! I'm ready to see what her future holds!
|Valentine's Day, but one of my favorite recent pics|