Before babies, I was a Kindergarten & first grade teacher. One of the things I took pride in besides my organized and creative classroom, was my level of patience. I spent a number of years teaching students with varying special needs, and often parents and other teacher alike would commend me on the level of patience I had with their children. Events would be trying, a child would be frustrated and on the verge of losing it, and most times, I could keep my cool.
Then I had my own kids. Patience is fleeting when two needy little girls are climbing and crying and whining and whimpering while trying to get bags, coats, and shoes on before leaving the house.
I have dug my heels in though for a few things. Regardless of how late we may be running, or how frustrated I may feel, Mo MUST try to put her socks on by herself and she always is in charge of putting on her coat. The coat she has mastered a la "Flip, Flop. Over the Top!". Meanwhile, the socks, well that's another story. Most days she can do one, and after trying two or three times usually throws the sock onto the floor or lets out a scream or loud sigh. Normally, as this happens I am usually fumbling around with Maeve and her shoes and coat.
The banter between Mo and I during socks & shoes now is quite routine, and predictable.
I can just remind her "what do I say every morning, Mo?"
Mo: "Just try!"
Me: "You can do it! I know you can!"
Mo as she misses her foot again: "Uh, I just can't do it! I need help mommy."
Some days it's a real struggle while other days she surprises herself and somehow the sock manages to make it onto her foot in some manner.
This past Saturday, we were headed to her friend's birthday party which meant she wanted to wear her party shoes- shiny black patent leather. Because I knew that the party was going to be on the active front, I suggested her sneakers. We compromised- yes I already have to compromise on wardrobe- on her black shoes. With little fanfare, Mo independently put on her socks and her shoes!
The smile was so big and it was so obvious how proud she was of herself. I had to snap a picture of my little girl.
In that moment, I realized all the tears and screaming and times we were running late was worth it, as Mo finally got that she can do it herself!
Way to go Mo!