Independence Day

My older daughter turns three this weekend. She is at a very interesting point of her development, as I’ve illustrated throughout this blog. Since tomorrow is July 4th, our nation’s independence day, I was thinking about what independence means to me. This day marks our country’s declaration of independence from its mother country. Right now, all I can think of is my little one’s constant declaration of her independence from me, her mother.
While I know that this is a completely normal and necessary part of her growth, it’s also quite a challenge. She waivers between asserting her independence to demanding the attention she got as a baby and only child. Sure, some of it is pure sibling rivalry, but another part is the realization that she is still too little to do a lot of the things she wants to do. We hear a lot of, “when I’m a big girl, I can …” or “I do it!”. She doesn’t even know that it’s a luxury that almost everything is done for her. Most often that fact is totally annoying to her and, boy, does she ever let me know it.
It’s nice to be waited on hand and foot. When we went on our honeymoon, people were lined up to accommodate our every wish. Pretty sweet. However, I can extrapolate this to my future recovery. I know that I’m going to reach a point (probably pretty quickly) when I grow tired of having people do things for me. I’m going to long for the independence I once had where I could be totally self sufficient. Part of it is my desire not to put anyone out, the other is just that I like to do things my way on my own. People messing with my “system” is super irritating (despite their best intentions). I’m not speaking of anyone or any instance in particular. I’m commenting on my general OCD tendencies. (I swear, Mom, this is not directed at you. I love your help. Can you babysit tomorrow?). In short, I understand why my big girl wants to assert herself in this way. She needs to figure out her own system. And soon, I will have to kowtow to it (maybe, sometimes).

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