Tuesday, 28 October 2014

number 4


There’s always one. For us it is number four. She entered this world squalling her indignation at the process and her strong will and fierce determination have kept us on our toes ever since.
Being number four I thought I had the parenting thing pretty much down pat. It came easily and we were doing it fairly well, often complimented on our well behaved little tribe. But that was before. Number four weaned herself at 9 months, too impatient to wait and work a little harder for breast milk. At 2 she refused to wear anything but pink for over 12 months. Her tantrums were legendary, the laundry was the place she was sent to calm down. Her little fists beat upon a glass panel in the door until she was rewarded with a crack, her little feet jumped up and down on the toilet seat until she was rewarded with another crack. She wrecked the toys of her sister, drew all over her dolls face, threw a chair at her brother and cut her fringe on a 45 degree angle, twice. Perhaps her greatest claim to fame was kicking her mother when she refused to buy her a toy at Kmart. Needless to say number four was banned from accompanying her mother shopping for many months.
Fortunately for us age and the maturing process have mellowed the temper and its fiery expression. Even more fortunate for us is that number four grew to be a rule keeper rather than a rule breaker. She is emotionally aware and mature, a thoughtful and intelligent young woman, still with a mind of her own. Tantrums have been replaced with reasoned argument and whinging with measured persistence. Once she decides to do something, she does it. We learnt long ago to choose our battles carefully. We have conceded on her becoming vegan, originally it was vegetarian but reasoned argument and persistence (along with my requirement of a written and submitted research paper and meal plans) have seen her achieve her end. A second visit to the dietician today, fine tuning her plans, have alleviated some of my concerns. A belly button piercing is the latest concession. She made her case, I insisted she research and make an informed decision (of course). We figure it can be removed easily one day, unlike a tattoo. And it was of course her questioning of school that started the whole journey of our re-imagining next year.
We love her to bits. She challenges us, (lots of conversations currently about the ethics of eating meat) but not with childish demands and uncontrolled emotions (which is not something that can be said of all adults!). She is finding her way, articulating and following her passions. Her strong will and determination will continue to see her be who she wants to be and do what she wants to do….

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