July 14, 2009

A little woman

I just put princess to bed after her second wakening tonight. Usually, by this time of night (a little after 10 pm) I'm pretty annoyed by these "surprise visits". I usually take a hard stance and either scream (okay, shout a bit) or threaten to take away a toy/stuffed animal/book. But tonight was a little different.

I went up with her and sat in my glider with her on my lap and I rocked her for a while. Actually, I rocked her until I started to cry. While rocking, I pat her butt and stroked her arm and played with her hair. I was reminded that she's just a little baby! She was so vulnerable and sweet and although she is almost 4 years old and well over 3 ft tall, she's still a baby.

I tend to forget that a lot. I treat her more like a little woman - I'm usually really stern and harsh (although she really doesn't listen to me). I reason with her and I expect her to know better (ALL.THE.TIME). I've reflected on my tone with her before, wondering whether I was just too hard. Then I brushed the thought off reasoning with myself that I needed to be logical and reasonable and stern because there really is no other way that I would get her to grow up to be a rational and reasonable and strong woman, right? I have to be strong for her to be strong!

Then tonight I felt so sad because that could not be the way. It can't be the way because she's just a baby. I've got to check myself and remember that I have to find a way to teach her to be strong but I've got to do it in a way that she knows that I love her. Teaching a girl to be a strong AND loving woman is a lot more difficult than I thought. I figured that any woman could teach another to be a woman. But my tone and way with her may succeed in raising a strong woman but there is little hope that I would nurture a loving one and what success would that be?

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Sally's World said...

it is a really hard balance, and i think its harder with girls to be honest. my daughter was a grown woman from the age of about 4...so when she was vulnerable, it was switching to suit her.

your setting a great example, i have no doubt that your daughter knows she is loved and treasured, and the other lessons they get as they grow, my daughter is almost 15 and is very well rounded...

Queen of Pith said...

This post made me cry. We fight bedtime and have to fight waking her up. I do treat her like a little woman sometimes forgetting that she is a little girl.

DemMom said...

As the mother of 2 girls, all I have to say is... Amen! I agree and identify with everything you said!

Nerd Girl said...

So true! I too have a tendency to treat my girl like she's grown and honestly to be a little harder on her than I should be. She was crying about something the other day and as I was opening my mouth to tell her to cut it out, something inside me said "she's just a baby. You're a grown woman and you still cry. Let her cry." And I did. And I vowed right there to try to be more balanced in the way that I deal with her - she's smart, she's sassy, she has a better vocabulary than most adults - but she's still a child, my baby, and she needs and deserves for me to remember that.

Great post.

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