Saturday, October 2, 2010

Independence: Blessing or Curse?

Sara is rapidly getting more and more independent every day!  She's already more independent than most kids her age, but I think she over compensates a little due to her NF.  I've been encouraging this new independence for most of this year, since she really starting showing it back around her 3rd birthday.

But her newest task she's asked to tackle alone is a little out of her league I think.  Would be nice if she was 10 years older, but by then she'll just refuse to do it.  Sara wants to do laundry!  She wants to do it all by herself too, which she obviously can't.  One problem is she can't reach the washer to put the clothes in.  There are lots of other issues as well with this whole idea.  So to compromise, we now sort laundry together, she helps me gather it up by putting hers in the hallway, and she helps me to fold it once its done (which really just means I end up folding everything twice).  She also helps by telling me where everything goes, like I don't know.  Who do you think organized this room in the first place? And do you think I can show her this post in 10 year when she's refusing to do her own laundry?

Sara's other big move toward complete independence has been that I no longer read the story at bedtime, she now reads to me.  We've been working with her letters a lot, and its starting to pay off.  She still reads mostly from memorization of the book and by looking at the pictures, but that is how all small children start out.  It is completely appropriate reading techniques for a child her age. 

We've also started cooking together, which she loves.  I don't have a lot of counter space, but that hasn't been as much of an issue since Sara started helping out.  Now we do everything at our kitchen table since then she can sit in her chair and I don't have to hold her up.  Just drag an extension cord across the dining room, and plug in the mixer.  She loves it so much I ended up getting her a hand-me-down play kitchen for her playroom.  She's played in it every day since I put it in there.  Maybe Santa can bring some play food for it this year!

There are tons of other tasks she loves to do as well, and I'm glad she wants to try new things, but it makes everything take so long.  I sometimes get upset because she takes so long to do everything, and it will make us late getting out the door to school or interfere in some other way.  I'm trying hard to be patient, but there isn't always time for her to do it herself.  And its so much more work for me.  Being a single mom and taking care of a house is a big enough task, but now that I have to do things twice, its twice the job and I'm twice as tired.  Ah, the joys of parenthood!!  A year from now, I'll come back and read this post and probably wish that this was still my biggest problem.  I'm sure by then there will be something more on the horizon that will have to be adjusted to, there always is.


  1. LOL about showing her the post dealing with laundry in 10 years! :)

    And yay for reading the books to YOU! So fun!

    I totally understand about trying so hard to be patient and realize that they just want to help, but you're right, it does get hard to have to do it twice, take twice as long and so on. It's so cute that they want to help, but it does take some deep breaths and constant reminders that it's sweet and fullfilling to them!

    Sounds like she is Miss Independent though! :)

  2. O Julie... I love it! My booga's growing so big! :(

    As for the laundry--I think that's a great compromise. It lets her have a feeling of helping around the house (which, as you know is great to start now, when she wants to do it, to create the habit for when she doesn't). Yes, it may mean a little extra work, but it's the idea behind it that's important. And maybe you can get by without refolding some

    As far as the reading...I couldn't be prouder. She is an excellent reader and is tackling those skills like a pro. I would suggest, though, that perhaps it is a good idea to have her read one and you read one, as reading to her is still vital. Perhaps you can read a book that's a bit beyond her ability, and she can read you one of her faves (you know you want to hear Brown Bear again!).

    The cooking and other things she wants to help with are fantastic. She really wants to show you that a: she CAN do it, and b: she wants to be a productive member of the family. She wants to help. That's great! I know it's hard when everything takes so long cuz she's 3, but that's all kids. Maybe you can build in some extra getting ready time now knowing that she wants to do it herself (like her shoes).

    Just some thoughts. Overall, I'm so proud of both of you. She really is growing up to be a spectacular young girl.

    I love you both!