independence at three years old

Independence at three years old!

C is now three years old and I am experiencing a strong and independent child who wants to do everything herself. I have to listen carefully to her because I can get caught up in a power struggle, and this week I did just that. C was getting into the car but because we were parked against a fence she told me that it ‘was a squeeze.’ Instead of taking her around to the other side, which would have avoided a lot of angst on her part, I helped her in against her will. She stiffened up so I could hardly hold her and then lost her shoe. She tried to climb under the car door to reach for the shoe and she was so upset. Finally, I just stood back, let her do it herself and away we went.

At times, C turns to me and says “ Grandma, listen to me, you are not listening to me,” which is excellent advice!

C now attends gymnastics on her own and it has taken some adjustment to be without her father. The first week the instructor demonstrated the circuit she wanted the children to do and then invited them to start anywhere they wanted and to continue on the circuit. C’s Mother and Father were watching from the balcony. All the children ran to the slide, which is obviously a favourite piece of equipment, and then carried on. C also went to the slide but continued to play for the duration of the lesson, on the slide, and did not move along! The following week she was in the gym and missing her Mom and Dad, so she watched the gymnasts from the balcony and after a while joined the class. With no pressure and a lot of support this week she participated in the class, followed the instructor’s directions and enjoyed herself. As I say, she is only three and there is plenty of time for her to feel comfortable.

On the morning of the first swimming class on her own C told her Mommy that she didn’t want to go, and I said that we would just go and watch. So we didn’t get dressed in her swimsuit and off we went. When we arrived at Aquaventures C happily got into her swimsuit and we walked out to the pool with her saying ‘we will watch,’ which I concur. She proceeded to walk straight into the pool and it isn’t even time for her lesson yet. Anyway, she is happy to join a new teacher and listens and follows directions well. I am now relegated to the sidelines and have pleasure in watching her have fun.

Our celebrations this month included Earth Day and Mommy’s birthday.

I have been working on teaching her that we do not need to turn on the electric light during the day only when it is dark. Her response has been to close all the blinds to make it dark and turn on the lights!

I realize that she now understands energy conservation. When we visited friends this week she pointed out to me that their kitchen light was on even though there was a window with light coming in. As an activity in reusing, I cut up a cardboard box into wide strips and C decorated them to make bookmarks, one of which she sent to her godmother for a birthday gift. I also cut up a paper towel roll and she covered it with used wrapping paper for napkin rings.

C was very excited to help with preparations for Mommy’s birthday. She painted a card and wrote in it, and told her that the painted side was hers and the inside was Mommy’s. She made Mommy a bracelet by threading a purple pipe cleaner with coloured beads which Mommy was delighted with. After Mommy wore the bracelet on her wrist C put it on her head as a crown. C decorated the cake with sprinkles and added the candles. After lighting the candles C helped carry the cake singing Happy Birthday.

Another busy and rewarding month for me watching C grow and develop.