Our mornings are not always sweetness and light. Usually they involve some yelling. Mostly from the little one. If you want to help her with her shoes, then she can do it BY HERSELF, thank you very much. If you leave her to her own devices, she’d like SOME HELP PLEASE!, but not without micro-managing the help along the way. It’s a fine line between self-reliance and self-destruction that we tread ever-so-lightly if we’d like to get out the door intact.
This morning she was putting on her new “fast running shoes” by herself on the little gold stool at the door. I was getting my own shoes out of the cabinet when she asked me if she had her shoes on the right feet. I told her they weren’t, and she sighed a tremendous sigh and took them back off again and started over.
A couple of minutes later we headed out the door to the car. There’s a narrow strip of grass between the sidewalk and the curb, and that strip of grass is currently a muddy mess. I always ask her to wait on the sidewalk until I can lift her over the mud, trying to lessen the amount of filth that she can grind into the back of the leather seat in front of her. This morning I lifted her in and dug around for the carseat straps. That’s when I noticed that her shoes were once again on the wrong feet.
“Hey!” I said. “Your shoes are still on the wrong feet, you silly bean.”
There is also a delicate balance of jest and sincerity in every exchange. I chose the wrong path.
“No they AREN’T!” she yelled at me, pouting. “I switched them TWO times which is better than ONE time and now they are right.”
I gently pointed out that the velcro straps should be on the outside. She took a closer look and scowled again, this time at herself. Then her face brightened.
“Ha HA!” She exclaimed, clapping her hands once in front of her face. “I’m MAGIC!” She crossed her feet at the ankles and raised her arms in triumph at her great switcheroo.
When we got to school her ankles were still crossed. I think she was starting to believe it.