Feb. 5th, 2017

growing up

Feb. 5th, 2017 05:01 pm
aryanhwy: (Default)
Yesterday, Gwen casually asked, "Mum, can you text Lauren [D.'s mom] and ask if I can come over today or tomorrow to play with play-doh?" Despite prompting, she hasn't yet gotten the concept of waiting for invitations. But Lauren and I had talked a few weeks previously about getting the girls together this weekend, and D. has been to our place more often than vice versa lately, so I didn't feel too bad putting the proposal to her, and Lauren promptly replied with an invite for this afternoon.

When it was time to go, Gwen suggested that perhaps this was a time in which she was grown up enough that I could walk her down to the end of our street and help her cross the street, and then she could walk the rest of the way herself. D.'s house is across the main road and then one block away; from the end of our street I can see D.'s house. And once before, before Christmas, Gwen had made a quick run over there to make a delivery and then came right back, while I stood at the end of our street and watched. Gilesgate is just too busy for me to let her try to cross it unsupervised; but if I'm there to judge when it's safe to go, then she's allowed to cross it without me accompanying her.

I love that with so many independence things like this, she's the one who takes the initiative. She was the one who suggested one day that she was old enough to be left at home alone while I ran to the store (a trip which takes about 10 minutes). She's the one who suggests that I walk up the stairs from the river to the bridge while she takes the ramp route, and that we meet at the top of the bridge. She's the one who has come up with the idea of me walking on the other side of the street from her.

It means I'm doing a good job raising a strong, confident child.
aryanhwy: (Default)
Gwen is a remarkably guileless creature -- thank goodness, for if she were naturally sly, we'd all be in BIG trouble -- but there are a few times where something small deep down in me has wondered if in fact she is actually incredibly full of guile, and is just very good at concealing it. Is she actually really manipulating us by the straightforwardness of her innocence?

About a month ago, she managed to scam me. Context: Gwen has enough blankets on her bed that if she gets up to the use the toilet, she needs help getting tucked back in. I do so grudgingly, because I really really really want her to learn how to get out of bed without dumping the blankets on the floor, so that she can get back in and pull them up herself. But she's not in general allowed to ask for random cuddles. She gets a cuddle 5 minutes after I put her to bed (or, if Neffie or Goldie is on my lap in five minutes, she'll get the cuddle when I am next free to come upstairs), and if I am already in bed myself but my light is still on, she's allowed to come and lie in bed with me for a few minutes. Otherwise, I am not at home to the stalling technique known as "mummy, can I have another cuddle?" With that background, this exchange happened:

G., whispering loudly: "Mummy, can you come tuck me back in?"
Me, sitting on the couch downstairs: "All right, I'll be up in a moment."
*goes upstairs a few minutes later*
G., whispering: "I don't exactly want you to tuck me in, I just want a cuddle."

Bait and switch! She knew if she asked for a cuddle, I'd tell her she should be asleep and therefore I'm not coming up. So instead she lured me up with a request for something she knew I would come for...

--

Today is Joel's birthday, so yesterday we went out shopping for a gift for him. I told her to think about things he likes, and try to get something that he would like. Her first suggestion was beer and books, but then we passed the toy stall at the market where we usually buy birthday presents for her classmates, and she said "I could get daddy A TOY!" And not just any toy, she could get him a soft, cuddly toy! I probed a bit, asking if she really thought this was what daddy would like, and what would he do with it? "He can cuddle with it! He can cuddle it any time that he wants! He'll love it." So we got it, and she then refused to let it be put in a bag, and instead cuddled it close and carried it home, and occasionally referred to it as "my lambie" even though she most often caught and corrected herself to "daddy's lambie" before I could.

We wrapped it up in prep for giving it to him at supper tonight, and last night I warned Joel that she had primary choice in the present, and that she had picked something out specially for him specifically, something that she put a lot of thought into and that she was sure would be the present he'd want best, just so that he would be properly primed to give the correct response upon opening it. (Which he managed to do without laughing.) Gwen was full of all sorts of helpful ideas about what he could do with it, though she never quite came out and suggested that he give the lamb into her keeping and care. Lambie is now tucked up in our bed, awaiting Joel to come home so he can cuddle with her at night.

Even now, we are still uncertain if Gwen got Joel a birthday gift, or if she was incredibly, deviously, enormously clever and got herself a birthday gift. (Joel says to test this theory, he wants to get her a complex mitre saw for her 6th birthday).

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