The control issues that our Mei Mei experiences affect a lot of our daily life. It's exhausting sometimes, but we're taking the philosophy that we're building trust and confidence. So that if she's feeling uncertain and a choice about something small makes her feel more peaceful and secure in our interactions, we give that latitude.
It's bigger than the old adage "choosing your battles" with this kiddo. It's more about helping her feel that her voice matters and that her feelings count. So that when and if we arrive at a bigger issue where there can be no choice, she feels safe and trusts us. More than any other time in my parenting, I feel as if this kiddo has us on a huge learning curve and we're all kind of finding our way together in this particular lesson.
We know how ridiculous her need for choices can get, we all try to make them non-issues when we can. As I sit her typing this, she's "helping" her big brother put away the dishes and he's cracking up because she insists the forks go in the spoon slot. He's really good-natured about it and he knows he'll have to fix it when she tires of the task. We've come a long way, baby.
Thank goodness for this and for the other light-hearted funny moments that make the learning enjoyable along the way. These are the moments that keep us all sane.
Yesterday, while The Boss was getting a plate for her strawberries, he was grumbling a little bit about how picky she is and how a bowl would be just as good as a plate, even though all the bigger kids had plates with their berries. He walked back over to the cupboard and pulled out a plate and walked back to Mei Mei.
When he set the plate full of berries on the island for her, he said, "I'm going to change your name to Miss Particular, Mei Mei."
Without skipping a beat, Li'l Empress piped up (in her cheery, eager-to-please voice), "I am gonna keep my name the same, right Daddy?"