Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Adventures in childrearing: Mini-Me

Remember your mom cursing you as a child..."I hope you have a kid just like you!"?

I remember it...every time I look at my little 6-year-old girl. This kid amazes me. She is bright. She is cute. And she annoys the heck out of me. She is JUST like me.

This is the child who cannot remember from one minute to the next that we told her to STOP PLAYING WITH THE CAT. The one who "forgets" EVERYTHING. The slow eater. The S-L-O-W walker. Oh, and that poor cat? Yeah, STOP TORTURING HER!!!

I am beginning to see how I drove my mother crazy...I'm surprised we weren't both in straightjackets before I graduated high school! Sometimes I think about what I might tell myself, if I could give myself any words of wisdom....and some days I have to actually apply those words to living with this miniature version of myself.

I have to remember, daily, that this is a CHILD. She does not have the years of life experience to teach her things. She also does not have the weight of responsibility on her shoulders. She is a CHILD.

I get impatient with my mini-me almost daily. I expect her to do things on my schedule. I expect her to remember things. I expect her to get along with her siblings, and respect their property. I expect her to be nice to the cat....or at the very least, leave her alone.

And then, I see something in her that reminds me of myself....the daydreamer I used to be. The kid who loved all the animals, and probably tortured them (okay, I DID torture them). The little person who felt things deeply, and was probably unreasonable in a lot of my thoughts and actions.

And, because she reminds me of myself, I am learning to extend a little more grace to her...because I WANT her to be that child, and I want her to be able to daydream, and love, and feel....and maybe (someday) she'll learn not to torture the poor cat.

What is your child teaching you today?


Honeydo Doer said...

I have three children ages 20,22,24 and the oldest moved back home two months ago. When they are small they step on your toes. When they are grown they step on your heart. What I've learned from having him back home is that he loves and respects me not only as his mom but as a person.

Wendy said...

Your 6yo sounds a lot like my 13yo. She was always the slowest eater, always forgetting things (still does) and loves the animals (but for some reason they rarely love her back..hmmm...)

Out of five children, I've yet to have one be a mini-me. I've seen traces of myself in the girls, and my son IS a mini-me of his father, but none quite like me. Sometimes I wonder where the heck they came from, but most days I'm thankful that maybe they've got a chance not to turn out as messed up as I am. LOL