After a week of asking to be pushed in her buggy instead of walking - sigh, bad timing!- and wanting to climb into the infant car seat now installed next to hers in my car, Emma has finally started to show signs of wanting to do things on her own again. Phew!
It has taken a LOT of patience (tons!) and even more "bravos" and "well dones" but finally Emma seems to be wanting to do things by herself on her own initiative - which, let's be frank, is the ONLY way it's actually ever going to happen. You can't coerce a child into peeing in the toilet, brushing her teeth or removing her own shoes if she has set her mind on not doing it. Sometimes, she even quotes us: "Emma est une grande fille" (Emma is a big girl).
So, last night after we returned from the sandpit, Emma removed her own shoes, her own fireman pants and only requested some help with removing her fleece jacket. She didn't want to put her slippers on, but so be it. No resistance to hand washing either. Then after dinner and before her bath, she actually decided she wanted to pee on the toilet and undressed herself completely, sat herself on the toilet equipped with a Mr. Man book.
I ran the bath and left her to it while I put a load of laundry in (mainly from the sandpit). I must admit I was skeptical.
After five minutes or so I told her reading time was up and we needed to bath before the water was cold. Getting the book from her took some doing, but then she said she wasn't done - and that's when I heard a trickle. Yes! She was peeing! And peeing and peeing! I congratulated her and got the toilet paper ready. She said she wasn't done. More trickling. She then got down from the toilet and got her own toilet paper, wiped and tossed it in the toilet. Then walked around and flushed.
She then decided she wanted to climb into the bath on her own and moved her little stepping stool next to the bath thereby sparing my back and the baby. Yippeee Yay! And she climbed out on her own too, only holding my hand for support. I am sure you didn't require quite so much detail, but this is a BIG deal for me and her - Yay! Yay! especially as we await the arrival of her little Bruder.
I can't help feeling that our weekly gym classes have contributed to Emma's increased confidence in her body. She is now braver at the park, trying out bigger slides, going down on her tummy without being persuaded and climbing up more complex structures. From the start, Emma was really good with her hands and brain (from opening bottles to fitting in shapes and doing puzzles and repeating words and expressions) but has always been a bit slow in the "moving her whole body" department (sometimes quite handily so if I am totally honest staying put while I was in the shower or cooking when she could have been up to mischief), and I am SO happy to see her feel more confident in herself and agile.
Other than that Emma:
- recently stepped in dog poo and is since readily pointing to any brownish thing on the ground telling me it's "caca" even if it's earth or something
- often asks me if I am her friend (bist du meine Freundin, Mummy?) - so cute!
- is still telling everybody and anybody who will listen that I am her Mum (das ist meine Mama!) and although she is used to kindergarden teachers joking and saying I am their Mummy or me saying she is "meine Emma" back to her and that everybody has a Mama, she got really upset when Deda told her I was his. I think it might be due to the scarier deep voice and fact that they don't spend that much time together.
- still often insists it's all for her; "c'est tout pour Emma, pas partager" (it's all for Emma, not share), although she does with friends so it's mainly a power thing with us parents, so I always ask her very politely if I can have one of her almonds or raisins or carrots and she makes a fuss "okay Mummy, only one"
- and I have been doing the head, shoulders, knees and toes together and she loves it!
- has just taught me a new song rhyme called Round and round the garden (will try to get that on film soon)