Increasing Independence; Increasing Distance

She grows up so fast!

A year ago, she was 16 (2 years old) and today, she is 18 (3) already!  Sometimes we feel as if she would be getting married the next day!

As if for the longest time, I had to clean up after her: Change her diapers; clean her poop; keep her cups; feed her; read to her; change her clothes.

Now, during waking hours, I have no idea how many times she goes to the toilet because she now does it by herself… complete with washing her hands after.  She only needs me to clean her when she poops.

She still wears diapers when she naps or sleeps at night because I refuse to bother myself with bed wettings.  Other than having to put it on, there are times whereby I do not have to change her when she wakes up.  She will change by herself.

No matter how tongues wag, I’m fine with her wearing diapers to sleep all the way to the point whereby she automatically does not want to wear diapers to sleep anymore.  So far, it is proven that she does not require potty training… all transitions from one stage to another were automatic.  No need for struggles and meltdowns to force my child to do something she is not ready for.

Now, whenever she gets a drink in a cup or a packaging, she would put the cup back in the kitchen or throw the packaging into the bin.

Meal time, she eats by herself.  I only have to feed her when she is very very distracted (e.g. by a TV show that makes her dance or the thought of eating only tidbits for lunch).  When we have cereal and milk at home, she even makes her own breakfast and prepares a set for me while I’m still sleeping.  (Daddy doesn’t get a set cos he does not like cereal and milk.)

At times, I find her flipping and “reading” books by herself.  While she can’t actually read the words in the  books, she has memorised the lines.  Very recently, she started to point to the words she believes she is reading.  Usually, she points correctly to the first word in the sentence.  Then, the rest is just “action action” only.

With her increased independence, she needs me less and less.  And as she needs me less and less, I miss her more and more.

While some parents train their children to be independent so that they can have control over their own time for their own pursuits, I don’t do it as much.  I do it just enough mostly for her own good and when she is ready.  Timing is tailored specifically to her readiness level rather than her age.

My daughter demands a lot of my attention/company compared to other kids of her age.  But I’m happy to oblige as much as I possibly can cos one day very soon, she will no longer need me at all – completely.

I heard that some kids do not want their parents anymore as early as 10 or even 7-8 years old!  It could be that soon.  I’m living proof – I personally wanted total freedom from my family at around age of 9 or 10.

We only walk this journey with each of our children once.  There is no turning back the clock, no room for regrets.

Cherish it.

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