Monday, July 18, 2005

Independent Women Pt. 1

Well, I've been a bit of a blog slacker for the past few days. I have 2 good reasons, however. Reason 1 is that my right wrist and forearm are killing me from too much computer time. My body is trying to tell me (screaming at me, actually) that I need to find a better way to spend my time. In all honesty, I don't really watch TV too much anymore. I've switched over to the computer, which, though it is a bit more brain stimulating, is not a good trade-off for real life.

Reason 2 is I had to get the new Harry Potter read. I'm not a super Harry Potter freak--I mean, I wasn't at the bookstore at midnight on Friday. I did, however, have a copy reserved, and picked it up early Saturday afternoon. When it comes to books, I'm a total binger. I don't read in small quantities. I devour books. So--The Half Blood Prince has been duly devoured, and I have a couple things to say about it. (Don't worry--no spoiling.) Since book 3, I haven't enjoyed the stories as much--though obviously enough to keep reading them. 5 was particularly hard to plow through--and I can best describe it as sullen. 6 was better--but was completely plot driven--very little as far as the character development or world building that was so fun to read in the first few books. I understand that Rowling has had thousands of pages to do both of these things--and may feel like she's given enough of this wizarding world and funky characters that inhabit it--but I miss it and wish she would keep giving her readers more of the fun details and minutiae that made the early books so impossible to put down. As far as what actually happens in book 6, all I'll say is this: 1 thing happened in it that I NEVER thought would happen, ever, and 2 things happened that I've been expecting for some time.

Well--that took longer than I had anticipated. I didn't mean for this post to be a book review. On to the Sophie stuff. Sophie's most uttered phrase lately is "I can DO IT!" If I remember correctly from my Psych 101 class, she's just moving from Erikson's Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt stage into his Initiative vs Guilt stage. (According to Freud, the sick fuck, she's moving from the Anal stage into the Phallic stage, and while she has been informing me that she'll have a wiener when she grows up, I refuse to believe that she has penis envy, or that her complete future personality and success depend on if she can successfully take a shit or not.) I think that other than a little mommy-itis, she's a pretty autonomous girl. When she sees a kid her size out in the world, she marches right up to them and says, "Hi! I'm Sophie! Let's be friends!" She's gotten much better about being left at a grandma or friend's house. I believe that as much as and almost 3 year old can, she know who she is and has a great amount of confidence.

Now, however, we're moving into that tricky initiative stage. She's decided that she can and should do things for herself. Don't get me wrong--I WANT her to be able to do things for herself, but right now, it's just so much more work for me. She has this little chair that she drags with her everywhere to reach things. If I don't watch her closely enough, I'll find her on the kitchen counter, having fetched the jam from the fridge and ripped open the bread, trying to make herself a "jam samwich." When I try to help her with this task, she tells me to go away. The end result is usually very sticky and jammy and a huge mess for me to clean up.

Other things she wants to do by herself are pour drinks, wipe her butt (p.s. The flushable "Kan-doo" kid's wipes are THE BOMB), put videos and DVDs in the player and take them out, use scissors and glue, and get in and out of the car. Again, I really do want her to be able to do these things--to take the initiative and get and do what she wants, but unfortunately, it's a huge pain in my ass. It's messy and time consuming and frustrating for both of us.

I don't remember this event, but my mom often tells a story about me when I was about 4. (I was a VERY independent child, and was known for saying, "I can fick it myself!) I had tried to make my own bed, and was pretty proud of myself. Later my mom came along, and without saying anything to me, remade the bed. After a while she found me crying in the closet, and had no idea what was wrong. When she asked, I told her, "I made my bed all my myself but it wasn't good enough for you!" I'm trying to keep in mind the lesson of this story, and just grit my teeth as I wait for Sophie to climb into the car when I'm in a hurry.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
I love to lay in Sophie's bed with her and read her a story. We checked out "Mrs. McTats and her House Full of Cats" today, and had a read and a snuggle before nap time. It was lovely.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Cleaning up after the "jam samwich"


amandak said...

Oh, that tricky initiative stage. We are SO in that one here. It's constant negotiations and sneak attacks. I try to find a part of the task that is 3 year old appropriate, and quickly get him attending to it while sneaking the parts of the task that aren't. Example: the DVD player. I have Zach find the remote so he can push the play button, while I hurry and stick the DVD in the player. That kind of tactic doesn't always work, and obviously doesn't work with all tasks, but I'm getting pretty good at it.

Kids are currently feverish and sleeping, how long do you think I should wait before taking them to the doc? I'm thinking tomorrow morning, unless they eat soup and don't puke tonight. I hate to see feeling icky.

Thanks for not spoiling HP, I'm about 200 pages in, my reading being seriously thrown off by all the puking.

Love you, missed you!

p.s. How was the ballet?

NME said...

I spend almost all of my spare time during the day on the computer. That is probably not healthy. I'm trying not to think about it because I rely on the social aspect of it to keep me from being lonely.

The initiative stage is HARD. I have two half sisters that are 10 and 20 years younger than I am and I remember them both going through this. And as a preteen I distinctly remember fighting with a strong willed 3 year old Elisha who wanted to do everything - WRONG. It drove me insane.

Mark got me HP for my birthday - but since I haven't read anything on actual *paper* since Noah was born it may take me 3 years to finish it. I can't believe you are done already.

patrice said...

okay, this may make me an awful mother, but I totally don't remember trent going through that phase. it doesn't mean he didn't - it means that I totally don't remember. he very well could have.

trent has always been a sort of cautious kid, so maybe he didn't go through it. all I know is right now, I WISH he wanted to do things himself. even if it took a while. like when he's sitting on the couch watching TV and I want him to eat breakfast, and he says he will - if I get it for him. christ, kid, go make yourself a jam samwich, would you?

Katy said...

Patrice, you probably just blocked out Trent's initiative phase cuz it was such a pain.

I must say that story about mom says a lot for all our mommy issues. As a very clever mug once said, If it's not one thing it's your mother.

PS I still think you're doing great with Sophie, and is it really that surprising that she wants to do it herself? She does after all come from a Smith girl.

Rebecca said...

Having no kids, I could be stepping a bit out of line here but I think you're very lucky that Sophie wants to do things for herself even if it is a pain in your ass. Good luck with handing her some control of her own life (yikes, that sounds a little scary)! Seriously, you sound like an awesome mom and I think you're doing a terrific job!

No-L said...

That is hilarious about her informing you that she will have a weiner when she grows up. Does she tell complete strangers that? I don't have kids, but I love how they just put things out there. One of my good friends has a little girl and I love to teach her silly trendy words "auw-ight, aloha, hey lady, dude and totally awesome." Her mom isn't always happy with it when she repeats them to strangers, but it's sooooo funny.

I think more people should spend the time with their kids reading, that's really great!