Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm now anti-independence

We have a pool in our new neighborhood that Abbie has gone to several times. Prior to our move, she rarely went swimming because there was no convenient place to take her. But now its more frequent. The first time I took her to the pool, she clung to me tightly the entire time, even when we were in a place where she could touch. If I tried to loosen her grip on me, she would freak out. She loved being in the water, but she had to have me as her security.

Well, after taking her swimming a couple of times, we went and bought her some floaties and a little boogie board with the Disney princesses (her latest fave) on it. Our next trip to the pool was drastically difference. She wouldn't let me get anywhere near her. In face, anytime I tried, she would say in an insistent and perturbed voice, "I CAN DO IT MYSELF." So I would stand away from her watching as she kicked herself around the pool. The fact that her swimming took her from one place to another at a pace that makes glacial movement seem like warp speed didn't matter to her. The above water portion of her would look over at me with a huge smile and bright eyes and proudly proclaim, "Look, Daddy! I'm doing it! I'm swimming!" while the underwater portion of her was kicking frantically.

I say all of that to say that I'm not too crazy about my daughter getting more independence. I know, she's only four (almost), but swimming is now just one more thing for which I am not needed (at least not in the way I was previously). When she was latched to me in the water, I kept wishing she would let go. Now that she has, I want it back. Those were just long, wet, hugs.

Before long, she'll be riding a bike, spending the night at friends' houses, driving, and ... gulp ... dating. Pardon me while I go cry uncontrollably ...

... Ok, I'm back. My conclusion: independence is bad. I'm not in favor of it. It means that my baby will grow up and need me less. So I tried to set a rule in my house the other day. I said, "Abbie, you cannot grow up any more." She just laughed and said, "Daddy, I'm going to grow up." See, I can't even instruct her anymore. ~sigh~

1 comment:

Dana said...

I can't speak from a parent's point of view but I can speak from the daughter's. Her words may be saying, "I look at me! I can do it!" but her heart is saying "Be proud of me and give me your approval!" She still needs you - it's just different. That doesn't change!