Thursday, May 10, 2007

Does an almost-5 year-old ever get the concept of _now_?

First, a bit of background: in the last week, we have gotten a couple of boxes from Hanna Andersson. Really cute clothes that Banana really digs. She also got a pair of classic clogs which she was very excited about since another girl in her class has the same ones in a different color.

She was concerned that she couldn't wear them to school since they didn't have a back, until I showed her that the strap swings back. This was great news, greeted with the response, "But I'm not going to wear them to school." What? "I'm not going to wear them until my birthday." Fine, this is two months off. No big deal. I knew she'd change her mind in the meantime. I just wasn't prepared for when she'd change her mind.

Mornings are always a bit of a challenge. I'm not a great morning person, and between my increasingly late bedtime since the shooting and Anna's recent need to sleep past 7:30, we're usually scraping just under the wire to make it to school on time. This morning, as I'm going into the final get-us-out-the-door frenzy, she comes to me to say that she wants to wear the clogs. First off, it's a gym day, so I ask her not to. Second off, I just don't want to deal with it at that moment. I tell her to go put something else on. A couple minutes later, as I'm putting the dog's food down and heading to the door, I look into Anna's room where she is sitting on the floor--no socks, no shoes, and very proud look on her face as she tells me that she figured out how to get the strap down on one of the clogs. I was half an inch from exploding. And to add insult to injury, she decided to go back to the living room to get her blue mary janes.

In retrospect, I could have been either more stern or more accommodating, but the reality is that life with an almost-five year-old is a little crazy and weird. Kids' personalities are so clearly developing, as is their ability to reason and negotiate. Add to that the post-separation dynamics, and the fact that she lives with me full time. It becomes a constant search for the right mix to get us where we need to go.