I had a moment a few weeks back with my toddler that I’ve been mulling over, off and on, ever since.
Here it is. I’m getting better with social media and realized at the time it might be Tweet-worthy:
— Louise Hayes (@Louise_Hayes) September 23, 2014
She said it with such complete assurance that I couldn’t help but stop and wish for that kind of confidence.
Then, last weekend we were at my parents for family dinner, when, after a diaper change, she decided to do this in front of the mirror:
I know that she is demonstrating pure developmental age and stage here. Heck, with the exception of maybe snapping the above spread a half-year earlier, I’m not sure I could have planned a better photo shoot to demonstrate my kid “getting” the mirror test.
Yeah. That’s her.
She gets it.
She’s at that lovely, still pretty much un-selfconscious stage where she loves herself, her image, and everything she does. And she assumes everyone else is equally a member of the cult of her.
Everyone is her friend. She says hello and offers smiles to any stranger (except mall Santas).
And because she is generally rewarded in kind, this concept of her world works.
I remember when my eldest – now five – lost this assurance.
When she realized everyone wasn’t her friend.
It was preschool. She was almost three. And I’m pretty sure I know the kid to blame, or thank, for this specific transition.
Because don’t get me wrong.
I didn’t love her leaving this stage, but figuring out that everybody doesn’t love you is an equally important milestone for kids. Beyond the obvious security implications, embarrassment or shyness about how you perceive the perspectives of others shows appreciation for their feelings – which is good. And, as the trusty BabyCenter.com reminds me, it also serves as an early warning system for when you are doing or saying something that might get you in social trouble.
However, even with that understood, I still wish to encourage individuality and confidence in my children.
With that goal in mind, I was recently buoyed by my eldest’s choice in Halloween costume.
It has been consistent since August. She wants to be Wonder Woman.
So a couple of weeks ago we hit the new Monster Halloween location on St. Laurent and special ordered one in her size.
It arrived last week and she’s been wearing it at any and every opportunity since.
You know: grocery shopping; Economic Club Luncheons; the works.
We went out October 3 to watch the Carleton Conspiracy Band – Carleton University’s marching band – as they went from Carleton, up Sunnyside and down Bank to promote Throwback Weekend. We caught up to them in front of the church at Bank and Aylmer.
She asked if she could wear her Wonder Woman costume for the “parade”.
When we found the band, I asked if she wanted to meet Rodney the Raven – Carleton’s mascot.
She initially declined. Because, shy.
Then I suggested Rodney might want to meet Wonder Woman.
Well! Anything for a fan…
As we walked back to the car any number of people walking to the RedBlacks game that night at Lansdowne exclaimed “Hey! It’s Wonder Woman!” or said hello. My preschooler waved like a rock star and had a confident strut I adored and hope at some stage she connects with not requiring a costume.
All that to say? My past month in toddler-preschool-land has left me with the belief that we’d all be better off if we channeled a bit of toddler confidence.