Saturday, September 10, 2011

Changing the Rules

Independence is something all children achieve in time. Or so we hope. From taking those first unassisted steps to moving into their own homes, there are so many levels a person goes through in the course of life.

Recently I've discovered that I need to adjust to allow Little A more independence. But how does one transition from "No" to "Yes" gracefully, without seeming self-contradictory or having to offer long-winded explanations?

Some things are still at the NEVER level: touching the stovetop, iron and open flame, crossing the street, going out the front door or getting into an elevator alone, climbing out of a wet bathtub and onto the highest level of the playground slide without a safety barrier.

Others need to move to the CAREFULLY level though: stepping on and off escalators accompanied (but not necessarily holding hands), pouring glasses of water, using the toilet unaccompanied.

Apart from using the "Now you are bigger, you can try this by yourself" line, what other ways are there to take children to the next level of independence? I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stressful September

This month, I am stretched thin, nearly to the point of tearing. Metaphorically speaking, of course. My calendar is full, and choices must be made.

While one foreign-based friend has headed back to the other side of the world, another has just arrived, husband and baby in tow. Both these friends of nearly two decades are Little A's godmothers and both have not been home (they live with their husbands in cold Europe) in over two years. So spending as much time with each other as possible while they are in town is of high priority.

On the other hand, there are inescapable work requirements, plus a very important corporate event I was booked for months ago which takes place in two weeks, not to mention wife and mother duties.

So I find myself choosing, but the choices are not easy.

My book club events have taken a back seat this month to a wedding, a scheduled but sudden play date, and an important client presentation. I love these new reader friends and hope they understand but am certain they will, as they too must have kindred souls and brothers and sisters of the heart whose company they crave after being so long apart.

Next month, I hope, I will be able to breathe. But then the Christmas rush will be upon us. I will cross that bridge when it comes.