She's having a, shall we say, independent week. One in which she's decided it's cute to tell us she doesn't "have to" do this or that. I'm not impressed although I can take most of the responsibility for inadvertently teaching her that phrase. If there's some mundane task that doesn't matter whether or not she does, I'll say some version of, "you don't have to."
"Let's play with your blocks!"
She picks up crayons.
"Ok. We don't have to play with blocks. We'll color instead!"
So...there it is.
She also seems to mostly say it when "don't want to" would be more appropriate, but it still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up while my mind is thinking, "Really? You don't HAVE to? Wanna bet?" lol
I try to pick my battles wisely but there have still been some times I've had to refresh her memory that I'm a little stubborn when I'm trying to make a point that matters to me. Manners? Yeah, you DO have to have those. Respect? That's pretty much a given as well. Brushing teeth, baths and general hygiene? We allllll have to. lol Staying seated while you eat? You know...I really don't care about this one and it drives David crazy. She's two. She has more energy than the Energizer Bunny and if she needs to stand up to eat, then more power to her. At least she's eating. I promise she will eventually learn to stay seated, and not even on my lap. Ha!
Eh, I don't know. I firmly believe in structure but not in all things. I want her to be able to be a kid, to truly enjoy her childhood, without feeling like a miniature adult while learning the fundamentals of what it means to be a good person so that she'll naturally mature into a respectful, happy adult. She's so articulate that it's sometimes easy to forget that she's really just a two year old pre-schooler.
We've been going to a new church for a few months now. We started putting her in the nursery but she never stays for long without crying for me. Never. I seriously have YET to hear an entire sermon, and although that part bugs me, I don't see the huge deal is that she's asking for me. I hate that she gets so hysterical at times but I'm not surprised that she wants me. She's always been this way with me and it's not like I'm keeping her isolated from others. I fear I may scream the next time someone says to me, "She just needs to be around other kids" or "you need to cut those apron strings" or any other variation of making me feel like a failure.
Common knowledge: Yes, she is attached to me. Yes, she spends the vast majority of her life with me. Yes, I realize I'm not the only interaction she needs.
What I know about my child: She does not like walking into groups, especially noisy, fast paced groups and is much better with one-on-one interaction. She does fine with "parallel play" beside another child or children. The more you force her, the less likely she is to do whatever it is you're expecting of her. She needs to walk in, step back and observe before delving in and she prefers to do that from the "safety" of my arms. She prefers consistency and familiarity. Once she warms up to her surroundings, she's usually good to go as long as she feels like it's on her own terms and people aren't trying to force her. She does MUCH better earlier in the day than later in the evening.
Honestly? Does she sound all that different from other 2 year olds? From most people?
Considering Amelia was born at 25 weeks, I'm not surprised that she shows some traits of hypersensitivity. Preemies are notorious for hypersensitivity and it's not something they all outgrow. I was born prematurely and have always be ultra sensitive to crowds, noises, sudden bright lights, and I feel things more intensely than what most people probably do. I was a nervous wreck while she was in the NICU because of all the alarms. I'm not projecting my own issues onto Amelia but I am a little more observant and understanding than maybe I would've been had I not experienced it on my own.
The irony? David is loud...abruptly loud. He goes from complete silence to making some random noise, scaring Amelia and me half to death. lol Just tonight, he quickly turned around and started making a strange monster noise to Amelia, a noise he's done a million times, but she wasn't expecting it. She screamed and came running to me, saying, "Daddy do?!" Translation: "What the heck is wrong with him?!" Bless her heart, he scared her so badly, she was shaking but he had JUST been playing with her, just not that loudly. lol
She gets excited about going to church because she's going to "sing songs and play." She's been asking for David's cousin's kids all week, wanting to see them. She just acts like she has no idea who these people are when we get there! lol She did really well at Thanksgiving because she was able to roam around AND the gathering took place earlier in the day. I'm really hoping the church nursery won't be such a big deal to her now that we'll be going on Sunday mornings instead of Saturday evenings. I'm crossing my fingers and praying at least! :)
Anyway, I encourage Amelia to play, explore, and become more independent. I'm just not going to NOT go to her when she needs me. Yes, I do think it's a "need" vs. a "want." I've said all along that I will never deny her when she asks for me, especially after the first time I held her and her stats became perfect as she settled against my skin. For that brief moment, I "fixed" her. I am her mother. I am her comfort. She won't always be like this. Haven't I said that a time or two over the last 2.5 years? LOL!
She is such a sweet, funny, energetic blessing. She watched an episode of Dora the other day where someone had a baby. Of course, now she's asking when "Mommy have a baby." That, my child, is the million dollar question!
I've had several requests for the link to the original Caringbridge journal so I will try to remember to put it at the end of each entry over here for a while. Things may not be as on-the-edge-of-your-seat exciting as they were while she was in the NICU but each moment is a gift from God that I never take for granted. Thank you to those of you that still read. ♥♥