Monday, 15 September 2008


You don't have to look too closely to see the down-side to Berry's new insistence on putting on her own shoes.

Invariably, offers of help have been met with a fierce "I do it-a-myself!" – so she spent a few days walking around like a duckling with a problem.

You know who else has a problem? Me.

This whole self-sufficiency kick (okay, "important developmental stage", whatever) is seriously slowing things down. I'm a girl with a List Of Things To Do and, even on the best days, I barely manage to stick to it. Throw in this three-foot-tall Miss Independent, and it all falls in a heap.

The extra time it takes for her to pour her milk by herself, put on her shoes by herself, clean her teeth by herself, mop up the spilled juice by herself, climb up into the Pilot by herself, get into her car seat by herself .... it nearly drives me round the twist. Naturally I put on my happy face and my encouraging voice and support all but the most outrageous endeavours (no, you may not pick up Kickbaby by yourself), but occasionally I indulge in a bit of a whinge when she's out of earshot.

I was having a quiet complain about it in the classroom the other day, watching Berry turn endlessly in tiny tippy-toed circles trying to pull up her shorts by herself. When I'd finished, Ms Yvonne tipped her head to one side and said benignly, "Well, I guess you just need to leave some extra time."

On the one hand, she's right. On the other hand – lady, they're what we call fighting words. If I have to factor in "extra time", we need to leave for preschool yesterday.



  1. My mom could probably commiserate with you when I was a kid. My favorite saying was "I do it", heavy emphasis on the "I". I loved to dress myself in my favorite outfit - yellow Mork & Mindy t-shirt and plaid skirt. Good luck with that time management! I can only imagine the challenge!

  2. Oh goodness do I feel your pain. My nearly 3 year-old inSISTS on doing everything herself. In fact, if I have the NERVE to do anything for her (ie. open the car door, take out her toothbrush) she will REVERSE what I did in order to do it herself. Oy.

  3. I will never understand how tots can walk in the wrong shoes and not find it horribly uncomfortable! My 3 yr. old cousin does the exact same thing in her current independant stage, no matter how often you try to suggest she might prefer wearing her shoes on the opposite feet!

  4. I always know I can get a good chuckle when I visit your blog! Thanks for the smiles...your situation is far too familiar. If it helps any, although the "DO IT MYSELF" doesn't really end, it gets quicker with all their experience. By the time Berry's 4, you can easily cut back HALF of the time it takes her now! Good luck with your Independent Little Lady.

  5. Wow. This hits so close to home. Only, mine says "No! I do it!", followed by an "all by myyyself". And if she actually knew how to put her hair up into a ponytail, maybe that would be ok. Or if when she actually tried to put on her shirt, it went on her body, that would be nice. I do just the same as you "ok honey, you do it by yourself, mommy is here to help if you need it". Patience. We'll get through it.

  6. lol I'm living through this stage too! "I do it!" aarrrrggghhhh!

    As you say, what extra time? I'm running late for work, and I have to wait for a 3 year old and a nearly 2 year old to climb into their own car seats (and the 3 year old wants to try and do his own belt up)! And heaven help me if they think I'm assisting! No assistance required thank you!