Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Becoming a Big Boy

In the days and weeks leading up to Little A's birthday, I would remind him that he was going to be six. Six! A big boy. A proper boy, no longer a toddler.

Little A seemed to take this in stride, as we worked on independence skills like brushing his teeth with less supervision. I wondered though, how he really felt about turning six. While he couldn't tell me, we soon found out he took this growing up seriously.

He suddenly learned, after ages of being reminded, to throw the towel over his head after a shower when he only used to wipe his face and chest and then wander off, dripping, to play.

The night I realised he really did mean business though, was when he went to the toilet all by himself.

Little A potty trained quite early, and with very little fuss. But when he needed to poop, he would look for someone - myself, the Au Pair - to keep him company and clean his bottom when he was done. Big A and I would be at the dinner table and Little A would come and take my hand and lead me into the bathroom. We'd gotten used to this over the past several years.

Since summer school started though, Little A has been having his dinner earlier because we'd had to push forward his bedtime due to the early morning wakeup. He usually plays in his room, or uses the laptop in ours, while Big A and I eat, and then we begin the bedtime routine.

One evening last week, I left him with his YouTube videos and sat down for dinner. A few minutes into the meal though, the bedroom was unusually silent. Looking in to check, I didn't see Little A at the desk. Neither was he in his room, or the bathroom in the hallway that he usually prefers to use. The last room was our ensuite bathroom.

I peeked in and there he was, sitting on the toilet in the darkness. When I turned on the light, I saw the bidet on the floor, instead of on the hook next to the toilet where it normally rested. I asked if he was done, and looked into the toilet to see half a roll of toilet paper already in there. When I checked his bottom, it was clean.

Little A had done his business and cleaned himself up, but was waiting, waiting, waiting, for someone to come and tell him he'd done it right. Once he got confirmation, off he hopped, back to the laptop.

Since that night, he's gone to the toilet by himself most times, but sometimes asks one of us to come with him and hand him his iPad while he's sitting there. And while we're there, we help clean up.

This is what I look forward to then, in the world of six-year old motherhood - independence. Clearly, my son is up to the task.

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