For most of H’s young life so far she has been a mummy’s girl. I could do no wrong, even when I did wrong.
Something has changed recently. It’s like a switch has been flicked. She is now daddy’s girl. I am a nag, apparently. This means she doesn’t have to listen to what I ask her to do and can do the exact opposite. Fun times…
(n.b. don’t get me wrong, she has always been daddy’s girl, it’s just she’s even more than she used to be these days)
Here’s an example…
This afternoon after Holiday Club I took H to our local Tearoom for a drink and a treat because we’ve talked about it all summer and not done anything about it. So we’re sitting chatting and having a lovely time. Afterwards we head to the bus stop outside.
There are people waiting at the bus stop and she insists on climbing on the seats there, I’m aware of other people and ask her nicely to keep to one side (there’s an old bloke with a stick too). She ignores me, of course and defiantly goes for the one that’s too big for her. Eventually she sits nicely, but looks at me like I’m a pain.
I hand H her Oyster Zipcard, and she drops it – in the road. AS THE BUS IS COMING. I grab her backpack to get her out of the way because I really don’t want my child to get knocked down by a bus. She ducks down again to get her travelcard, horrified that I’d tried to pull her out of the way of a bus (which she hadn’t seen) and stopped her from getting her card. This time she gets it, and I drag her clear of the bus again doing a dramatic “WHAT ARE YOU DOIIINNNGGGG?” to her, as the people at the bus stop ignore me. (well this is London)
I then spend most of the bus ride home with a frightened seven year old and a shaken up me. We have a serious chat about what could have happened and how I’m not trying to be a pain telling her what to do – I just want her to think. To Stop, Look and Listen.
*makes mental note to make a body suit made out of bubblewrap for her*
I mention it to Shaun when he gets home. “Well, she’s fine isn’t she?” He says, and kind of lets it go. Or at least, doesn’t go on about it like I do. I’m not nagging, I just witnessed my daughter do something really stupid that she did without thinking and I’m still dealing with it.
Anyway, the conclusion H and I got to from this, apart from her saying “I feel really stupid for doing this” and me reassuring her that most seven year olds do something like that so it’s actually normal, therefore validating everything she did, was that we’re going to let her lead when it comes to crossing the road. We will stand in good places to cross and she will judge when it is safe to cross and we’ll tell her if we agree or not. We will look at what is on the road, and work out whether it is safe or not. We’re going to Stop, Look and Listen.
As I pointed out to her, if she dropped her Oyster card on the train tracks as the train was coming into the station, would she climb down and pick it up off the rails. (she confirmed she wouldn’t)
So I tried to draw a parallel with that. I think the message has sunk in. She had a quick cry and a cuddle (because she is still mummy’s girl when daddy isn’t around) and then everything was okay again.
I, on the other hand, need gin. A large one.