Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Responsibility

Bet you thought this post was going to go on and on and whine about how my children never pick up after themselves, and never do what they are told, right? Well, you are wrong, though there is one in particular who does that, this post isn't about him, oops, I mean isn't about that particular subject.

This post is regarding Miss 11 and her complete ability to baffle me. Or it could be my inability to understand her, one or the other, and who's responsibility it is to keep her moving forward.

Late last week Miss 16 and Mr 19 were fortunate enough to be at the lake with friends. Miss 16 was staying at a cabin with a friend and her family and Mr 19 was off gallivanting with his friends at a nearby lake. Miss 11 was stuck home with us, as is not unusual since she is only 11. We felt sorry for her, and decided to take her out for ice cream.

We drove to the ice cream place, actually it's a miniature golf place that just happens to serve ice cream, and stepped up to the counter to decide what we wanted. There were two people working, a mother and son I would guess, and they both started talking to us. Heaven forbid! Miss 11 was trying to make her decision when one of them asked, "What can I get you? Waffle cone, plain cone, dish?" She looked at me, clearly panicked to have people speaking to her, with a question in her eyes. I explained her options and she whispered the answer to me, I relayed it to the attendant. The attendant picked up the waffle cone, walked back over and asked what she wanted in it. Again Miss 11 got the panicked look in her eyes, and I just took over, telling the attendant what I wanted, Hubby then told them what he wanted and Miss 11 was still trying to decide. Finally she whispered in Hubby's ear what she had decided and he passed the information on. End of transaction, we got ate our ice cream (mine was licorice chip by the way, mmmmmm!) and walked to the van.

As the evening progressed I thought more and more about how shy Miss 11 can be, and I worried as mother's do about how we sometimes coddle her. I wondered whether I should have forced her to order her own ice cream, or if just making her life easier was ok.

Then yesterday I had one of those "oh my gosh my kids don't need me" moments. Miss 11 has volleyball camp this week. She attends for 1.5 hours every morning. It's in a building she has spent time in often for various other volleyball related activities. I have always had to walk her in to those activities, stay until she was comfortable with her coach, or sometimes stay the entire time, and if I left I always had to be back well before she was done waiting where she could see me.

Yesterday we got to the building, she opened the van door, hopped out and said "see you afterwards!"

"Wait," I said, "don't you want me to walk you in?"

"Nope, I'm good!"

"Um, ok, I'll be waiting in the parking lot when you are done, I'll park by the building, look for me there."

"Ok, bye Mom, love you!"

And off she scampered. I had added the wait for you in the parking lot part just to test her, and she was fine. She didn't care if I was coming in, or walking her in, she was completely fine being dropped off. It was strange, especially after the few days spent worrying about the shyness. She didn't know who was her coach or who was at camp, and none of it bothered her.

So now I wonder, what do I force her to do (order for herself) and what do I just wait for her to be comfortable doing on her own?

1 comment:

La Rêveuse said...

Maybe teach her how to take control of the situation by saying, "I'm not ready to order yet. I'll let you know when I've decided." Sounds like she has a lot of confidence when she feels in control of the situation, but not when she's not in control. That type of response could help her regain control and conquer her own shyness. Just a thought. It was something I had to do when I was in France--it helped my language a lot when I forced people to take me on my own terms.
(((MBand11)))