My little girl is growing up. I say this amazingly without my heart breaking. For some reason, it’s easier for me to let my little girl grow and go than it is with my boy. Probably because I can relate to her in such a deep way. She’s me. Bolder and much cuter, but in the strangest way, she is me. And I loved growing up so I know how much she’s loving the process of becoming her own little person.
Mickey was a Velcro baby. She spent the first year of her life strapped to me on a backpack. No one, not even daddy, could hold her for long. She was exhausting and we did not get along. I feared she’d grow into a shy, needy little girl who hid behind me and would refuse to do anything apart from me.
I was wrong. And I’m so glad I was! She’s not shy. Neither of my children are. Cautious, yes, and that’s a blessing, but never shy. I thank the boy for that. His boldness was her only example of what a child should act like and she learned very early that the squeaky mouse gets the cheese. And boy can she squeak!
We recently went on vacation and my mom had the pleasure of witnessing one of Mickey’s 5 year old temper tantrums. It was shocking to watch such a cheerful, kind, patient child turn into Rosemary’s Baby. Of course the fits were brought on by exhaustion and hunger and they were few compared to how much we kept playing, but it was a glimpse into Mickey’s new independent streak.
The tantrums have increased as she’s gotten older as have the fights with her brother. I don’t see it as a drastic change in behavior, but more of Mickey’s way to achieve independence. She’s challenging herself and her family members. She’s discovered she has a will and a strong one at that and she’s strengthening herself by fighting with her family. I call it a ‘stage’ because I know my little Mickey is still there, but she’s stretching her independence and growing. She deserves to find her voice and become herself. Even if it means lots of time outs and screaming sessions in her bed.
Two days ago Mickey discovered her stash of Littlest Pet Shop toys. She’s had these things forever. I bought her some for Christmas when she was 2, but she has had absolutely no interest in them until two days ago. And wow can that kiddo play… Like a little girl! It’s SO cute to see her play just like me at her age and I love it. It makes me want to buy her stacks more of the bobbly headed little toys so she can have a LPS empire!
I know her joy because it’s my joy too. But Jonah does not understand. The fact that his playmate has switched him up for coloring books and plastic bobble heads drives him insane and two days ago he had the first meltdown he’s had in almost a year. A full blown rage so bad the poor kid couldn’t even talk. And it all comes down to the fact that his sister is growing up.
She still loves her brother and cares deeply for him and when she’s ready, they still play amazingly well together. But she now requires a lot more ‘girl’ time than before and soon she will be reading and I doubt I will ever see her either.
We’re now entering the reality of split worlds between our children. Mickey’s life once paralleled Jonah’s. She lived inside his bubble, played with his toys, obeyed his commands, but she’s broken free of that bubble and created her own. It’s fascinating to watch, but also painful from my stand point.
Jonah does not play well on his own. There are times when he is content in his digging pit, building a side walk with his boss, but he craves friends and kids aren’t as accessible to him at this time in his life. In a few short weeks Mickey will be entering Kindergarten. An achievement that she’s been waiting for since Jonah started preschool. She craves learning and is very likable and social. Very shortly Jonah’s sister is going to drift farther from him than she has ever gone before. And this upsets him dearly.
I have always said that Jonah needs Mickey more than Mickey needs him. She is his rock, his best friend. When he has a bad day at school he knows he can come home to his sister and play endlessly. Now he’s facing the biggest change thus far in his life… he has to learn independence from his sister.
I wish I could give Mickey a sister and Jonah a brother. Forever playmates that could stick to each other through tick and thin. But there will be no more children in our family. I know my kids will cope because all families do, but it is a painful break up indeed. I believe that once Mickey’s emotional growth spurt has calmed she will settle a bit and be more willing to transit to her brothers games, but it will never be like it was when she was younger.
And it doesn’t need to be. Those times were a blessing. Brother and sister playing together for hours without any problems. But you can’t live in someone else’s shoes forever. At some point you have to grow into your own skin and enjoy life from your own point of view.
For the first year in my children’s school age lives I am excited for school to begin! Two kids in school, learning, growing, experiencing and socializing. Two completely different point of views and for the first time consistent good reports from one of my child’s teachers! The girl is ready for school. She been ready for a year and has patiently endured a life at home with me working a good part of the day while she gorges herself on her television addiction.
That’s all about to change and for the better. I am so excited for this new chapter in my little girl’s life. She’s promised to always love her mommy… a promise I’m holding her to. She’s growing up and in a beautiful way. Mickey is an old soul. She sees the world in a beautiful and practical way. She constantly points out beauty and hypocrisy and quietly observes and gains her own conclusions. She’s beautiful inside and out and I am beyond proud of her. She posses an inner strength that is a gift from God and I trust that she will take her gifts and talents and use them in impactful and meaningful ways. What an amazing person I have been given the honor of raising and what a joy to be included in her journey 🙂 My little girl is growing up and I couldn’t be happier!