Peanut’s accelerating search for independence and control is really quite awesome.
Yesterday he was coloring and asked, please, for a cup of water. I got a cup, half-filled it with water, debated a lid, and reached for a straw. My hand collapsed back toward my body, slapped back by my half-addled brain that reminded me grabbing a straw would get me in big, big trouble. (If I ever make the mistake of taking on one of his roles, like pushing the blender buttons or putting the clean silverware away, or hanging the key on its hook, or pushing the car alarm button, I am chided very quickly and borderline hysterically. “Noooooooo! No Mommy turn. No. stop. my. turn!” Country Mama swears this sounds like, “no suck my toe!” and is still deciding whether to question the conversations Spouse and I have with Peanut when she’s not there.)
So now I know that anytime I’m fetching a drink for Peanut I have to let him choose his own straw. And not just ask what color. Offer the whole selection, and not touch any of them. Peanut had already forgotten the water (a welcome change from the normal script wherein he asks thirty-two times even if mom has patiently said yes to the first thirty-one). So I asked. “Peanut, would you like to choose your water straw?”
He turned to me and let a gorgeously bright smile spread across his face. “Yes. Pl-ease.” He seemed so happy that I remembered what was important to him. If felt quite yummy to be so appreciated and to know what was important in his life.
Sure, it drives me nuts that I’m usually asked (nay, told) to patiently watch him touch them all and play a bit and choose one (while every cell in my body screams, “It’s just a freaking straw! Pick one! If you’re really thirsty the color won’t matter!)
But today it was really nice to watch him feel completely in control of what goes in his body, how it goes in, when it comes out, and where it comes out. It seems that all the work it took to show him we respect his wishes and choices whenever possible finally made him realize that we do respect what he has to say and what’s important to him.
Can’t wait until he does the same for us.