Friday, April 20, 2012

Miss Independent

It's so awesome to watch T becoming more independent.  She's all of a sudden trying to do so much more for herself, accompanied by the phrase "I do it".  The other day she wanted crackers, so she went to the pantry, opened the door, took out the crackers, went to the kitchen, opened a drawer, took out a snack-sized zipper bag and handed them to B.  Whoa.  At least she still needs us a little, right?

One of the down-sides is that she likes practicing her new skills over and over... and OVER.  She recently figured out how to climb into and out of the tub.  Along with being able to remove her clothes, this should be a good thing, right?  "Go ahead T, get undressed and get into the tub".  Except that line is quickly followed by,
"No, stay in the tub."
"Get back into the tub."
"No, really, you need a bath. Stay in the tub!"
The last couple of baths haven't been so pleasant for either of us.  This breaks my heart.  I LOVE bath time.  More than just that she's contained, but she's always so happy in the tub.  We sing, we play, we kick and splash.  Ugh.  I just don't know what to do! She yells.  I yell.  Its no fun.

On good thing that came out of our struggles last night was the opportunity to teach T about apologizing for our bad behavior.  I was trying to explain to her that when we do something wrong, we need to say sorry.  We've tried to teach her this in the past and the girl is so stubborn!  She refuses to say sorry.  (I wonder where she got her stubborness from?)  This time though, I figured I would model the behavior I wanted her to do.  I said to her first, "I'm sorry I yelled at you out of frustration."  Then asked her if she could apologize for yelling at me and instantly came her reply "Sorry, Mummy".  Wait.  Did that just work??  There's my silver lining for the evening!

Ok, so independence comes with some challenges but it is so amazing to see her development.  Anyone have any suggestions for the bathtime struggle or do we just ride it out until the novelty wears off?


Clare said...

Maybe some new bath toys? R loved the foam alphabet letters and we worked on spelling words together. You can dump them all in and have her "hunt" for C A T then stick them on the side of the tub or wall and say CAT. Pull them down and hunt for new letters. As R got better at it I'd pull off the C and tell her to find H or M and say HAT or MAT and it turned into a game about rhyming. She'd keep adding new letters and we'd have fun saying the silly words she made.

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

A novel toy (even plastic cups or the like) that she could practice another skill with, like pouring, might keep her in

Otherwise? Ride it out. That's a great trait to have, even if it's maddening. She's persistent and like to master a skill. I'm walking through that with Z, far more than the others. My silver lining? How proud he is of himself when he gets it right.

Hang in there! That stubbornness is a great sign she feels secure enough to work on things and is dependent on you to let her try! Good stuff.

ReNewNess said...

Hey dr. M,

I obviously don't have kids, so grain of salt. . .

My first theorem:

Is it that T is proud of her accomplishment, Those tub walls used to be such a hurdle?
I know you have a thing where you mark T's height. Perhaps record her height and add the accomplishment of being able to get in/out of bath.
Perhaps the next time she does it, say "T, I know you are very proud of your accomplishment. I am proud too" (as I am sure you already do) and being a big girl means knowing when to do things or not do other things. Now it is time to stay in the bath until you are clean. If you can handle this task, we can write that on your accomplishment wall as well."

My second theorem:
(This POV comes from my babysitting experience.) Too much energy left? Maybe more exercise?

My third theorem:
Attention from Mom theory. That could go in multiple ways. Limit testing, adaption to K, etc? (I'm very thankful to not be a mom right now.)

Anyways, you're a great mom and I am sure you will figure it out.
Repeat: you are a great mom.


ps, one time Mom let me pivot for over three hours so. . . (yeah you have *never* heard that story.)