Strong willed and easily irritated. Not a good combination. My sweet Sarah Beth turned FIVE earlier this month. I don't know what happened to my baby, but she is long gone. She desperately longs to be a grown up and constantly bemoans her youth. Every night while forcing vegetables down her throat or announcing with glee that "it's bedtime!!" I'm always met with the same response, "I wish I was a grown up so I could do/eat whatever I want."
I'm trying to allow her some independence, but she often takes more than what is offered. Today we had lunch with my mother at a local restaurant. SB asked if she could order. I said sure. She ran up to the counter, greeted the cashier and ordered her food, drink, and requested a special side dish. Then she tugged on my shirttail and whispered loudly, "Mom! Can I pay?" The cashier was quite amused and played along nicely with Sarah Beth as though I wasn't even there. She thanked her for her order and handed her a cup and a number for our food. SB was quite pleased. "Can I get my own drink??" Of course. "Can you take Annie outside and I'll be there later?" No. She wasn't quite as pleased with that.
After we chose a table outside, SB kept thinking of reasons to go back in. By herself. "Annie, do you want a cracker? Mom, can I go get Annie a cracker?"... "I really need to wash my hands. I'll be right back." She was not happy that I insisted on coming inside with her to the bathroom. She asked (told) me to stay by the drink machines while she washed her hands. When she realized she couldn't reach the faucet, she came for help, but immediately wanted to me to leave again. Her final trip inside the restaurant was for napkins. I let her go in but stood inside the doorway watching. She went to the condiment table and squatted down behind it. I don't know what in the world she was doing, but she was getting some strange looks. I hurried over to her and pulled her off the floor. She was sooooo embarrassed. "Mom! I'm okaaaaaay. I'm just looking for the napkins." That's funny. It looked an awful lot like you were trying to hide from me. And the napkins certainly weren't on the floor. I pointed to the basket on the table and she shooed me out the door. She waited until I was far enough away, then grabbed about 4 dozen napkins and casually strolled in the general direction of the door, smiling and nodding at each patron as she passed them. Just another grown up restaurant customer in need of lots of napkins.
Whew. At this rate, she'll be having me drop her off three blocks from the movie theater by the time she's 12.