My baby ….who is 5…gave me a bit of a turn last night. I strolled into the Kid Bathroom, to check on him. He was in the shower, his older brother had helped him get the water the right temperature, and I was going in to do my thing. Sing to him, wash his hair for him, check behind his ears for toads. You know, the normal stuff written in Mom’s contracts. I slid the door open casually, only to have him slide it back shut on my finger. Ouch buddy!
Hey Momma..it’s ok. I got this handled! were his exact words.
Oh! was my surprised word.
I guess I should be happy. He’s showing independence, right? He’s gaining a sense of self, and setting clear boundaries in a kind and appropriate way. I know this stuff. I have a bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. I studied Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erickson, who would say that my Sunny is in the Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt phase of his little life. I’ll save you 5 years of education from two different universities. Autonomy=good. Shame and Doubt=bad. My boy is claiming his autonomy, and telling me in the nicest way he can….to back off. And I will respect his wishes; help him celebrate his independence.
But I remember his hands. His pudgy little hands, reaching for me, holding onto my hair, sometimes twiddling it between his fingers for comfort, other times holding onto it like a safety line rock climbers use. And my emotions get the better of me.