Thursday, July 27, 2017

My wild (wild) child

Her swimming instructor throws these little toy seals into the water and says "fetch". Okay, she doesn't really say "fetch" but encourages the kids to swim and grab one each from the bottom of the pool. The idea is to make it fun for them to have their faces inside water. It's a race of sorts...except, my 4yr old doesn't know that. The other kids obediently do as they are told, grab the seals and swim right back to the instructor, eager to hear a "well done!" My little girl however, grabs the seal, drops it again deliberately, grabs it again....talks to it and swims to the other end of the pool (opposite to the instructor).  She's the last one to swim back, not because she struggled with the activity (which would be fine too), but because she decided to make it her own little game.

In ballet class, she's always making the funniest faces and coming up with her own "moves", much to her teacher's amazement. At daycare, they put it nicely "S is such a funny little girl. But she needs to work on her 'listening' ears."  In short, my 4-yr old is funny and fun...but never a teacher's pet :).

There's a part of me that wishes she would blend in, listen to instructions and win her teachers' hearts and praises. And there's a part that is immensely proud of her free spirit. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t care if she misses out on the accolades. But I am equally honest when I say that I mostly celebrate her uniqueness and tell myself “her imagination is far more valuable”.

I often tell her that she reminds me of the little girl in "The Croods" (even has wild hair like her), who defies authority to go out and explore the world on her own. Always a fearless child, eager to explore things way too dangerous for her age, she is forever pushing her own boundaries (and ours). Strong willed, a mind of her own, tiniest attention span – all ingredients to a so called "difficult" child. And when that child has a mother who is not known for her patience...well, things can get a bit out of control.

But nobody said parenting would be easy. And what makes it more interesting is that I was a complete opposite when I was a little girl. But as long as there's wine in stock and chocolates at hand, bring it on, I say! So I'll be sporting a wild hair tonight, and dancing like the croods...with my wild (wild) child...
My wild (wild) child, may I always be the wind beneath your wings….