Brady P. is coming into this stage of development that is kind of shocking to me.
Not only is he exerting independence, but he is really blossoming his creativity and preferences.
As a mother who started this journey on high alert for health and safety, this has taken some getting used to. I actually have to consciously shift my attitude and priorities in order to allow him to manifest his individuality.
For instance: I usually just cook for us, set everything up for us and tell him when it's time to eat. But he really likes to help me (or anyone!) with whatever needs to be done.
So one day, while I was making lunch, he came over and said, "Mummy, let's have a picnic!"
It was a lovely day, and I need to let his ideas flourish, so I said, "That's a great idea! Let's get it ready!"
I set out a "picnic tray" and had him load his fork, his drink and some napkins. He did it all with pride in his step. When everything was finished, I carried the tray, and he helped me with the door.
"Mummy, right here," he said, so I knew where to set the tray down.
We had a nice little picnic in the sunshine. It was his idea, and he helped make it a reality!
On Monday, I took him into the co-op to get some groceries. I pulled out a shopping cart (they are smaller than most carts), and B said, "I push it!"
Well, off he went like a bat out of hell, and I had to reign him in and pull him back to the correct aisle. Then he took off again, stopped at the sale rack and put a bag of veggie chips in the cart... like he was in charge.
"Okay," I said, "we can eat those. They are two for $6, so do you want to pick out another bag?"
He picked out a different flavor.
Nice. Okay. We can do this.
Then he zoomed off to the next sale rack, lifted a large bottle of avocado oil off the shelf and gingerly put it into the cart.
"Okay..." I said again. "I suppose we were going to run out soon anyway."
Then I figured I should just let him shop because he was picking out things that we actually use, and, well, they were on sale!
After we parked the cart in the produce section, he picked out carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, an apple and a watermelon.
Some things we already had, but the things that were not on my list, I let him keep because that probably meant he would eat them. Good deal.
At the check out, he helped lift some items to the counter. What a little man he is. He is only 6 and a half, and he really enjoys doing the mundane things in life because, well, that's what people do!
As his mother, I need to let him.
And the more I let him, the more I see unfold. The more I see unfolding, the more he automatically does the dutiful things in daily life like get dressed and sit down to eat and take a tubby and so on.
It's as though the routine things that used to be a struggle are more automatic to him because he is able to branch out beyond the mundane in a more creative way.
It's awesome for me to watch it unfold for him and a relief for me to know it will happen. I can just let some things go.
Especially the things I stuck into a pattern in my own mind. Releasing them has allowed him to be himself.
Ahhh, welcome to parenthood all over again!