How do I know? Because you’ve mentioned it every ten minutes since it happened.
“I was brave when I got that cut because I’m four now.”
“I had my birthday, so I’m four.”
“I’m a preschooler since I turned four.”
“I can do a lot of hard things now, because I’m four.”
The thing is, this isn’t all just talk. A couple of weeks after you started going to Primary, they asked you to give a scripture at the podium. We practiced at home the week before, but when you stood up and looked out at all the older children, you froze. (I, on the other hand, sparkled under the pressure! Just sayin’.) But the day of your birthday you eagerly explained that you wanted to give the scripture again. You assured me, “I’m four now, so I’m brave. And I’ll just stand right up there and say it!” Sure enough, the next week, you showed no nerves at all.
There’s been other promising developments, too. Earlier this week, you interrupted your coloring to come ask dad, “Is coloring a right or a privilege?” I was so thrilled I about bounded out of bed to do the Perfect Strangers dance of joy!! (But you know, the whole getting out of bed thing, not my strong suit.) Because you’re getting it! All these concepts that some people (including strangers at the playground) have told me are a lost cause at this age are finally starting to sink in. And now you know, you better toe the line if you want crayons!
I’m also starting to see the first glimmer of hope that all my painstaking “growth mindset” talk is having an impact. On the way to the storytime this week, you said your little legs were SO tired. You didn’t know if you could make it. But then, you looked up at me and earnestly explained, “But when something’s hard for a kid, we just have to do it. And keep doing it!” as you broke out in a run. You still run EVERYWHERE, by the way. Just today at church someone told me that they didn’t recognize you standing still because you’re always a blurry streak. (Your Primary teacher probably agrees, considering that you once fled the building without her noticing.)
Back to the growth mindset (because at least 85% of my parenting thoughts revolve around it). I’ve been worried about all the people that tell you you’re smart and how that may derail all my careful teaching about how smart isn’t what matters. But this week, when a mom at Mommy & Me proclaimed how smart you were, you wagged your instructive pointer finger at her and said,
“Smart isn’t what’s important.”
She was taken aback and confused: “It isn’t?!”
“NO! Working hard is the most important thing.”
We’ve gotta work on your approach — because wagging index fingers aren’t gonna win you any friends in the long run — but oh, my heart swelled! Thank you for listening to me despite my very obvious inability to communicate in age-appropriate ways!
And as if that weren’t enough, we had a lovely little grocery trip this week. You held the list and scribbled out each item as we put it in the cart. I’ve tried to make the point that we only buy things on our list (no impulse buys in this family!) but I had forgotten to add bread to the list. And you noticed when I picked it up. I know because about 20 minutes later as we were headed home in the car, you remarked, “You know, Mom, it’s not frugal to buy things that aren’t on the list.” I tried to explain that I had forgotten to write it, that happens sometimes, we just don’t want to make it a habit . . . but you interrupted me, “But it was only one thing so we can still be frugal.” Phew.
Rights vs. privileges — check.
Growth mindset — check.
Frugality — check.
I’m pretty sure my work here is done! And I’m pretty sure you’re one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Love to my baby girl, who is “NOT A BABY ANYMORE” (so you say),