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    Self reliance

    This past Saturday S and I took care of a pair of little ones belonging to our friends S&Z. While it solidified, for me, just how quickly one forgets the routines of an infant, it also impressed on me just how incredibly self-sufficient their 3.5 yr old was. He was chill, polite,  mild mannered and incredibly self sufficient. So much so that when they left I kind of felt like there has been this whole world of self-reliance I’ve been denying G and myself… and I’ve been implementing some changes since.

    I can’t really tell you why exactly we do as much as we do for the kids. A big part of it is, quite frankly, pure convenience. It’s faster for me to feed S2, not to mention cleaner, or to get G dressed for bed. It’s easier to get G in & out of the car rather than plead, count and threaten while he sneaks up to the front seat and insists on honking the horn and push every single button on my dashboard. But, it’s also, partly holding on to this “littleness” of theirs. They’ll be big and going off to college in, what feels like, a few days and I’m not ready for them to be that grown up. And me so old. Yet, at the same time when they DO go off to college, I’d like to know they won’t be relying on someone to be taking off their jammies each morning… or at least if they do for me to NOT know about it.

    As of right now, G gets out of the car by himself, and is in charge of closing the door behind him. He also gets dressed for bed-time on his own. He needs help taking off shirts, more specifically getting the base around his shoulders, but he’ll get it. For the moment, he still thinks doing all this stuff on his own is super cool, and he really IS very proud of himself for doing it. I’m sure in another week this will be an old hat, and I’ll go into the begging, bribing and frustrated sighing routine. Which is why my approach is to start the bedtime dress first. Since he wants TV before bed, and bedtime doesn’t change, the more time he takes getting ready, the less TV he gets to watch. Ha! Morning? I have a feeling he’ll be going to class in his pajamas forever. Or he needs to get dressed in his next day’s clothes the night before. G wakes up like S, which means a whole lot of tardy for first period slips coming our way. Ugh! Maybe I’ll make S sign those and the two of them can commiserate about getting out of the house on time 🙂

    So yeah… I know self reliance is a really good thing for the kids long term, even though the frustration that comes with it probably will take a few years off of my life. They better become rocket scientists, is all I’m saying!

    3 responses to “Self reliance”

    1. This is precisely why I lost the Crocs battle. I got Jack Crocs because even though I am not a fan of the fashion, they are really easy for little kids to put on and take off. Which is one less thing I have to do myself in the morning.

    2. Rebecca says:

      I recently rearranged the pantry so that all the kids’ snacks are within their reach and moved the kid plates/cups/bowls to a drawer so that H and J can get snacks for themselves. It made me wonder why I didn’t do it ages ago! It has the added benefit that they will get up and get themselves a snack and play instead of waking me up at 6am. Now if only I could get L to do that too =)

      I definitely think that a lot of the things I still do for them is out of laziness on my part, I feel like it’s really time for them to have more chores, but it’s going to require some figuring out how and what and planning that I haven’t gotten around to yet…And also letting go of control over how well some things are done..

      I think it’s common with the first kid to do stuff for them longer just out of habit, but the second tends to want to do what the first is doing. I think I was still dressing J most of the time at that age. I think it turned into a bit of a standoff when we were going someplace he wanted to go I just said “we’ll leave as soon as you’re dressed and get your shoes on”… but then H has been dressing herself most of the time since before 2

      • avalikelava says:

        That’s awesome! G would live on shacks alone if we let him., so we actually cut out shacks at home: if hep shacks, he skips lunch or dinner, sk we keep those things well hidden

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