For months, hubby & I have tried to encourage our 5-yr old son to get dressed on his own. We aren’t trying to be cruel, but instead are trying to create some independence for him. We tried to set a rule that he had to get dressed in the morning before he could play (during the week) and it seemed to work…for a week. After mornings of tears and shrieks (I want MOMMY to get me dressed!) and Hubby going away overnight on business, the old routine of Mommy getting him dressed continued on.
I also struggle emotionally with this, as a part of me secretly likes getting him dressed, especially because he still wants me to and I know the day will come when he won’t. Knowing too, that I won’t have any more children to raise, I sometimes wonder if I hang on to these tasks as long as possible, because I won’t get the privilege to experience them again. Maybe, he too enjoys the routine we share of teeth-brushing and having someone help him get dressed (he always chooses what he would like to wear). Maybe the independence will come when he is ready for it, and we are wrong to push for it too quickly.
Once in awhile, I wander into the baby section of our grocery store and reminisce while glancing over the display of goo-goos, baby shampoos and baby food. Then I remember the 1, 3 and 5am feedings and the fear of never being able to sleep through the night AGAIN! So, instead of longing for the return of routines when my son was younger, I instead try to focus on the routines that I enjoy now, and take comfort knowing new routines are waiting for us in the years to come.
Besides, I get the pleasure of re-living the baby years as my son loves to hear what he did as a baby. Except the name I chose if he was going to be a girl (Jasmine). He doesn’t care for it, and it’s probably better that he did turn out to be a boy, as I suspect Germans would have a hard time pronouncing Jasmine (it would sound something like Yazzzzzmean).
And so, for the last four mornings, my 5-yr old has suddenly decided to start dressing himself even first thing on Saturday morning. And, he is thrilled to do it, and proudly shows off which garments he chose (mostly with a picture of Spiderman).
But tonight, he asked if I could help him put on his PJs. I’ve decided to cling as long as I can.
3 thoughts on “Letting go”
ohhhhh…I remember him so tiny…and I remember the first time I held him he decided to puke! However he must have known better and he projectile vomitted (is that even how you say it?) and not a drop landed on me….lol
Amen! I agree totally. Althought I fondly think of the boys “baby hood”, I try to focus on the present. Every child/parent stage is a joy… enjoy each one!