Monday, July 24, 2006

Universal Inevitable Truths

Shannon - 36
1 daughter (17 mo.)
Champaign, IL

The universal, inevitable and necessary - but always sad - toddler truth, is hitting Nat hard these days:

Everyone on the planet wasn't put here to serve her.

Two examples:
1. At a birthday party last weekend, Nat reached for a cookie in another little girl's hand. "No-no," I told her, "that's not Nat's cookie."
She gave me the most heart broken, incredulous look. It was her first encounter with something that she wanted that wasn't hers (other than our glasses or cell phones or that kind of stuff).
2. Today, at the playground, Nat got a bit more adventurous than usual and struck out on her own. We watched her from a decent distance as she toddled about, oogling the older children in awe. Suddenly, another little boy a bit older than her, slid down a slide and into her, toppling her over. She looked up, started crying, picked herself up and pointed at him as if to say "You! You have violated my person! Do you know who I am?"
She didn't know we were watching. We just about fell over laughing. But Cole also swooped over to save her.

She has had the habit, for a while now, of waving enthusiastically at the backs of people swiftly walking, jogging or biking away from her after they failed to acknowledge her presence. She seems to think they just missed her and will turn around once they realize who they've passed.

I suppose you could call her entitled--but to love and attention, not to stuff (except other people's cookies, I suppose).

It's hard to walk the line between spoiling her and keeping her little ego healthily intact as she learns that other sovereign humans inhabit the planet along with her. But for the most part, I think her ego is doing just fine.


Blogger Angie said...

This time is wonderful! Let her think she is the center of the universe for as long as you can.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous jasai said...

I love it!

I think an even more critical truth is that as we get older, too many of us lose this sense of entitlement. We forget who we are and how special that makes us.

There is nothing wrong with feeling like the center of the universe as long as we are sharing in its significance and beauty as well.

11:21 AM  
Blogger soledadsista3 said...

Oprah calls this "knowing your value" and its often hard to do in a society that makes us want to hide our value (mostly to keep from looking too prideful, especially when we REALLY know what we're worth). It is definitely a fine line when attempting to teach the wee ones their value, but that they need to respect the boundaries and values of others. Its amazing to me to watch children in this way--from simply being the center of the world to possibly just another child and understanding the smallness of their being while appreciating the largeness of their spirits.
be blessed

4:47 PM  
Blogger Aly Cat 121 said...

awww that's the just the cutest thing. Children are so full of wonder and awe. And I know what you mean about keeping a close distance cuz it's soooo hard not to rush in every single time our children even having a thought about being in distress.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Single Ma said...

This post is soooo cute. Too often, little girls turn into young ladies and lose their self esteem along the way. I don't know what happens during the transition but I do believe it starts at home.

Lil Ms Nat having pride and a healthy ego is a good thing. She's a queen in training. Gotta love it! ;-)

5:13 PM  
Blogger cloudscome said...

I love her attitude to people who don't smile and say Hi to her. I need to learn that trick.

4:42 AM  
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