As with my son, I have learned a great deal from my daughter. There are far too many to list here so I’ll stick with four for simplicity purposes.
Know when to play the game
If you’ve ever had to potty train a child you may be familiar with that feeling that comes with lowering your standards to bribery. I’m not one for swaying my children in this way but with potty training all bets are off. The finish line is in sight and if it means a small piece of candy to encourage “the flow” then so be it.
Unfortunately, this tactic did not work with my son. Bribery never worked for him. If his answer was “no” there was a fat chance he was changing his mind, no matter what you dangled in front of him. Yeah, he’s strong like that. My daughter on the other hand is very different. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ve won her over with candy. Oh no, sir-ree.
If you offered up candy for some potty time she would look you in the eye, tap a finger by her lips in contemplation and nod as if to say, “ok. I’ll take that deal.”
She knows what’s at stake and the rewards that await her with appropriate action taken. Even if it means something she rather not do. She will weigh her options and make a calculated decision if something is worth her time.
Everyone is different so don’t anticipate a reaction
Every so often, we are faced with a situation and I am completely blown away by her reaction to it. Each time, I have expected her to say or do something and I was way off base. My little girl is sensitive but she possesses some mighty strength so I’ve been caught off-guard a time or two.
First day of school was a breeze.
Signing up for soccer was awesome until we stepped on the field.
Relocating with a new house, new town, new school. No problem.
First day of dance class was terrifying and filled with tears.
These may seem minor examples, but each one caused me to pause. It was not what I was expecting from previous experiences with my son and how she has behaved in some situations doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be that way with something else. I have learned I can’t expect how she will react. She is an individual and has her own thoughts and feelings.
Live life so full you have to invent new ways to experience it
Since she was born this girl has set out to experience everything with every sense she has. Dirt cannot just be felt and tasted. It MUST be danced upon and flung in the air. A few months ago, I took her to a yogurt bar. After topping her watermelon flavored yogurt with all sorts of chocolate pieces and fruit, we made our way to the sauce area. Marshmallow, chocolate, caramel, raspberry, etc (about 6-7 different flavors) were available as drizzly yogurt toppings and when I asked which one she’d like, she simply replied, “all of them.”
Like it was the only logical answer. Like there was no other option.
I felt the pressure since my hands were full and there was a line growing behind us. Probably sensing the building pressure, the woman next in line smiled widely at her and said, “I love it! That sounds like a fantastic idea.”
Having a girl is not so scary
My struggle with female relationships has haunted me for years. I was terrified when I found out I was having a girl. Not only was my friendship track record in the dumps, how was I suppose to teach confidence and self-worth to a little girl when I had hesitations about MY self?
Truthfully, having her has made me a stronger person. It has forced me to listen to the way I talk about my body and put a microscope to how I’m treating myself as a person. I have also become more sensitive to the language we use. We have put less focus on appearance and instead praise her actions, intentions, and thought processes. Of course, I can’t help but to say she’s beautiful but I work hard at making sure she doesn’t feel like her worth comes only from her looks.
I’m not under the illusion that we won’t have our problems as she gets older but the bond we have is too amazing for words. If there ever was a mini-me in existence, I have her right here; sporting sunglasses, jamming to a funky tune, singing at the top of our lungs, and loving every minute of it.