Manifesto of a six-year-old

Besides some of my own issues involving a very unhappy stomach, we’ve had a good day today. Mutually-Assured-Timeouts only needed to be administered twice before they got the picture that you don’t hit, kick, or sit on the head of your sibling.
Yes, there was indeed head-sitting. Max is becoming quite the bruiser. Remember from The Princess Bride, when Mad Max meets Fezik the Giant?

“I’m on the Brute Squad.”
“You ARE the Brute Squad!”

Yep. That’s my boy. And, he keeps getting better every day.

Schoolwork went swimmingly, although Laura gets a little antsy sitting down for reading practice (I think I’ll try writing up her sentences on a white board so she can wiggle all she wants as long as she reads). And we finished in enough time for her to go outside and play in the nice (cold, stormy) weather.

Here’s where my hearts gets torn into little pieces:
As I was reminding Laura of the rules for playing outside and that she was not to leave the backyard under any circumstances, she stops me.
“Mom, I know the rules. I can be in charge. I can control myself.”
And then she skips merrily out the door.

I instantly begin to drown in a sea of conflicting emotions. Pride at my little girl all grown up (well, sorta). Annoyance that I was that easily dismissed. Sorrow at my little girl all grown up.

Wait! She’s not allowed to grow up!
Doesn’t she know that?

I, most emphatically, did NOT give her permission to become independent.

At this time, please ignore all my previous sentiments of raising an independent,

capable, intelligent child who can take on the world.

I didn’t know what I was saying.

I’ve learned my lesson and will never, ever let her grow up again.

Well, I can dream.

Truthfully, only part of me is feeling bereft and bereaved. The other part is impressed with the polite, well-behaved child that Laura can be when she’s in a good mood. She can express herself well, and has (so far) obeyed our rules about playing in the backyard despite the peer influence of her friends. I thrill when I catch her teaching Max his letters or numbers or she hits upon a particularly creative ‘imagination game’.

She is growing up. And I hate it. But I love it.

And it helps that she still pops in from the backyard “just to hug” me.


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