Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Big shoes to fill.

I adore my Little Miss Thang. Adore her! Though, she can be quite challenging at times. She eats with her mouth open. She does not care if her hair looks like a nest. She really does not want to wear anything other than jeans and t-shirts {and for the record, I rarely wear jeans and t-shirts}. She constantly uses incorrect grammar and UGGGHs at me when I correct her. She is her very own little person -- full of vim and vigor.

So the other day when I saw her trotting around the house in my wedge boots, I thought to myself: my, she does have some big shoes to fill. Not because I've been so successful or expect her to take the path that I chose or some path I've predetermined for her. I have no idea what she may want to do. 

The "shoes" she must fill are my expectations for her. I am completely aware of it but am unable to adjust: I've set my expectations for her quite high. I push her harder than her {twin} brother. I expect more in so many ways. I see an inner strength in her and know that I can push her. She will persevere. She has that fire. So I push further and expect more.

Is that fair to her? 

Or him? 

I'm not sure.  

And in terms of full disclosure here, my Little Guy seems to naturally exceed expectations. He always does well in school. He has impeccable manners. He practices the piano without being asked. He says yes ma'am when I speak to him. So maybe it's just that I see little room for improvement in him {at this point -  I know his time will come.}

And well, Little Miss Thang's natural output are her constant companions: attitude and sass. If Little Miss Thang brings home a bad grade she immediately says it was because the teacher explained it wrong {always someone else's fault}. When I ask her to do her homework she groans. And my Little Guy tells me he loves me and her at least 5 times each day. She refuses to admit she has any feelings for him {he's okay} and gives me big hugs while muttering something inaudible in my ear. "Just be nice!" I say 500 hundred times each day {truly, this is not setting the bar too high}. 

She is smart and strong. She does not let anyone {especially me} tell her what to do or who to be. I love this aspect of her. And hate it. 

But it is this very resistance that makes me push harder. It makes me think she can handle it. It makes me think she can fill boots much, much bigger than my size 6 wedges. 

Do you parent your children differently? Do you admittedly favor one? Are you harder on another? Is it a birth order thing for most? Harder on your oldest? Or, like me, do you think it is a reaction to his or her innate nature? 

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