Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

19 August 2008

She's only FIVE!

The problem with having a five-year-old smart, sassy, and sharp daughter is that we often forget that she's FIVE! We often expect her to act her intellect not her age...Get what I mean? If a girl who can instantaneously figure out that her dad's sarcasm is about Hannah Montana and not that she has enough t-shirts, as I tried to explain, er lie about, then why can't she sit nicely thru dinner?

Well because she's five.

My husband started a new job at the beginning of the month. She has not been happy. I know it's all around our new schedule. On Mondays we have to get up 30 minutes earlier, but I reward her with a trip to Starbucks where we get to share a muffin after we drop off her daddy at his 8 am meeting. He also has to work until at least 5:30 every day and that means we pick her up with just enough time to get home to let the dog out before an accident happens. This also means that no more stopping to have dinner on the way home. This is not a good thing.

Essentially we're having adjustment issues with the new schedule. And of course daddies aren't immune to guilt either. Daddy guilt might be harder than mommy guilt because well, daddies aren't supposed to have guilt. I tried to explain how important Daddy's job is to her and she wasnt' buying it. All she cared about was that he has to work late some days (I think a total of 2 nights he's come home on the el instead of carpool with us) and she is pissed. I gently reminded her that mommy does the same thing. I have my meetings after work and I go on trips. "Mommy has another trip this week."

Cue the water works.

Yup, she bawled and pleaded for me to not go on another trip. "I only have 3 more trips, sweetie, then I'm done for awhile." "No, mommy! I need you here with me. I want you....."

Cue heart break.

I worry that this transition isn't going well and that we're on the verge of kindergarten. Hopefully she focuses on the fact that kindergarten is for HER and that she embraces it. Playing off 5yo selfishness does work for good some days. ;-)

This morning she was fine. Who knows what tonight will bring...maybe with some Olympics & cuddling she'll feel better.

6 comments:

I've been lucky enough to raise one smart child, and now am involved in raising my two smart stepkids - and yes, it's easy to forget how young they really are when they're ahead of themselves in so many ways. My 8-YO stepson is already reading at 7th-grade level...but he's still 8, and there's some CONTENT at that level he's not ready for.

Sounds like you're going through a few transitions at the same time, which is always extra-challenging - but hopefully she'll love kindergarten (she's probably more than ready for it) and that will help. Good luck!

hmmm... sounds very familiar. My dad keeps reminding us that J is only 5 - same problems - very smart - but emotionally - still only 5. Hang in there. I think the transition to Kindergarten will be easier than we all think. And both kids tend to hold up well once they know what to expect.

Why is it that they know exactly what buttons to push though? I will never understand that. Hang in there -you guys are terrific parents and she will be fine!

Lots of love -

D

WHew...thank god I'm divorced. Heehee...I'm just joshing ya...but honestly....I think I've got a little bit more of an edge because Isabelle goes with her father and has to be away from me...so most of my trips she doesn't even know I'm gone. But she has massive separation anxiety when it comes to me....and she's too smart for me to fool into any kind of complacent conversation where she eventually gives in. We have our hands full. Maybe you and _I_ should do a blog together? Rural girl vs city girl?

Thanks everyone. D - I'm soooo glad that we're doing this together. Ditto for you Amy...thou, wish you were closer.

how about "remember, she's only two and a half"?! yeah, mama decided to lift our TV ban and use cuddling plus olympics as a soothing strategy. i guess there are worse things she could be seeing and at worse times. although i feel kind of bad about the commercials.

Amen to all you have said, as we are going through the same thing at our house.

It will pass, at least we find it does around here.

Gotta love the smart and sassy future leaders of the world!