Five is on the horizon, a little less than two months away, and with it comes the next stage of H’s development.
The hatred, absolute hatred, of being wrong.
We’ve had a few of these, too many to mention, but bless her, she’ll see something, translate it into H-speak and then tell us the H-speak version a few months later. For example :
Yesterday she was telling me about the white pretend theatre.
The white pretend theatre?
Yes, you know the one. Near the Thames.
I rack my brain. I have no idea what she’s talking about. Maybe there was something at the South Bank I’ve forgotten about?
Nope, no such thing. I’m sure of it. I tell her this. She looks a bit angry.
You DO know. We went there.
Okay, I am stumped now. Where is this magical pretend theatre which is white? AH! Maybe she’s getting confused with the Moomins play we saw the weekend before last? I ask her this.
I get rolleyes back.
That told me.
So I try to ascertain who we were with when this magical pretend white theatre which isn’t real but lives by the Thames actually is.
We were with Cousin G.
OH! I know exactly what she means!! Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre! I tell her this, and tell her it isn’t a pretend theatre.
So she angrily yells at me that it REALLY IS A PRETEND THEATRE and actually I AM WRONG.
I gently tell her that she’s brilliant but actually it really isn’t, and well done for remembering it, and that I was thinking of other things.
The angry is still there, mind. She’s angry at me for telling her she’s wrong. How dare I! I know I need to tackle it differently in future. I offer to find a kids production there she can watch so she can see it really is a proper theatre. I think we have a truce.
Until later on. I’ve hurt my back again and am easing myself into day to day things quite nicely, so much so I’ll probably be back at work tomorrow. My aim for today is to do school pickup, have a rest then walk to swimming and watch H. Forever the concerned little girl, she started to tell me where I may be able to sit, thanks to my back. Bless her. I was so proud of her thinking of me, as she really is quite a kind and thoughtful little girl, so give her a big cuddle, interrupting her kindness to tell her it’s lovely to think like that but it’s okay, I can sit on the chairs.
Cue angry face. Uh-ohhhh.
Oh just FORGET IT Mummy. It doesn’t MATTER.
I tell her it does matter and how lovely it is she’s thinking of me, while also wondering if this is a trait of coming up for five, being at school and copying your friends, as well as being a bit worried (maybe) about Mummy’s back.
It doesn’t help. She’s closed off to me. So I kind of prod at it to make her see it’s okay. Thinking about things like this is really important and I was pleased she’d done it all of her own making without me asking for help.
I make some stupid joke about needing to be careful as if I don’t have the right chair I might fall off and bump my bottom (going for the ‘saying bottom makes a four year old laugh’ angle).
Which works. She collapses in a fit of giggles. “YOU SAID BOTTOM MUMMY!!” she roars. So I follow it up with something equally as stupid because when doing stupid, I do it well. Soon the anger at being wrong is being forgotten. I’m starting to overthink it all too. See, at school they’re rewarded with stickers for doing things right. If you get it wrong you get nothing. However, I’m a firm believer you need to get things wrong to get them right in the end – if someone gets things right all the time are they really learning? So I tell H this quite often when she gets a bit worked up about it.
It would seem my interrupting of important things which don’t matter but are important needs some rethinking. As in, I need to let her say what she wants to, accept it, and thank her but tell her it’s okay, I don’t need it right now, but if I do in the future I’ll be asking her to find out. I think it might work. Having an almost-five-year-old is teaching me quite a lot about myself.