Friday, August 16, 2013

Summer Growing Up

Having a child is incredible.

Summer has changed so much in her thinking, in her social life, in her play, and it is fascinating to be a spectator. Of course, I'm not just a spectator, I'm a parent, coaching her on self-esteem and age-appropriate behavior and learning of every kind.

 And giving her lots of love along the way.

A few days ago, I asked Summer what she wanted for lunch. I rattled off a few options and she stood there, looking into middle distance. I decided for her: peanut butter and jam. She consented. I was halfway done with making the sandwich when she looked at the bread and said, "Ohh, I know what I want! Butter and jam toast."

I wanted to make her butter and jam toast, but from what I understand becoming a short-order cook wouldn't be the best for her development. So I said no. I lovingly said she could eat the jam sandwich or go without.

She of course threw a tantrum, and of course I put her in time out. A while later she came out crying, and explaining just how much she wanted jam toast.

"Summer," I said, "I love you, but I can't just do everything you want me to do. It's not fair to me because it makes more work for me."

Summer replied, "When I have my own kids, if they ask for a butter and jam toast, I will make it for them. If they ask for mac and cheese, I will make them mac and cheese. I will make them whatever they want."

"But what if you kids grow up to selfish? They might always think they can get whatever they want if you did that, and that's not true. No one can have whatever they want."

"If they say, 'Give me some chocolate chips,' or something with lots of sugar, I would not give it to them. If they play with their food, and use something that I need to make dinner, I would say, 'Hey, no playing with that food, I need it to make dinner.' So they will not grow up selfish."

"So if they want too much sugar you won't give it to them, but if they ask for something else to eat you'll make it for them?"

"Yeah," said Summer.

"Well," I said, "I think that's a very good idea. I do things a little differently, but you are going to be a great mom."

I often second-guess my parenting, but it seems to me like Summer is such an amazing person that she will turn out okay in spite of me.

 And now for some Summer pictures I haven't posted here yet (I think). It's an interesting age, because sometimes she looks so little, and other times so much like a big kid. I suppose that is just part of growing up.

Summer and the neighbor boy.

Ice cream for her birthday.

She's a sweet girl.

I can't get enough of her antics.

Summer selfie.

Another selfie

She is learning to pillow fight.

Sometimes I let her dye her cereal milk.

She really loved her butterfly balloon.

At the playground.

Making sure Henry gets the chance to get up the slide.

This might be my favorite picture ever

Chocolate pizza!


Summer is a dream, I tell ya.