Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Very, very proud.

I try as hard as I can to instill what I think are good things in my daughter. Not just things like sharing and being nice. I want her to do those things because she WANTS to do them, not because it is polite. I want her to genuinely care about the people around her and want them to be happy. Not a "people pleaser" who disregards her own needs, but a well-rounded person with a healthy view of the world around her. Unfortunately, weeks of "lessons" with me are undone in moments when she sees her father doing things that are basically the opposite of these principles. I won't go into it here, but let's just say he is socially inept, and never really learned common courtesies. Over the years we have met with some "imaginary" friends from over the internet (hey KT! she says waving madly). And they would say "He was fine and seemed very nice when we saw him". He was on his best behaviour, to be sure, because you are my friends. It's like if he knows somebody through me, he can let his guard down and be a good guest/host/whatever. But in his own realm? Every man for himself and look after number one. I often worry about what kind of person my child will become, getting these mixed messages. It is nice to be nice, but easier to not. One expends less energy when dealing with only ones own needs and ignores the needs of others. I have to say, caring about other people is not always rewarding. My feelings get hurt, some people treat me as a doormat, and I strive to make others happy when often their only goal is to see how far they can make me go. But I really get sad thinking that she will follow in her father's footsteps, never really caring about anybody but herself. This morning, I saw a beam of light. A small ray of sunshine in a dark cloudy sky. A shred of hope that maybe my worries are for naught! One of her little friends brought three cars to play with. One for himself, one for DD, and DD had been playing with another girl so she got the last car. Another boy came along and wanted to play, but alas, there were only three cars. His feelings were hurt, he was turned away. He walked dejectedly to the other side of the playground. DD ran after him, and offered to take turns with the car she is using! Now, if you knew DD you would understand how stellar this is. She is a good kid, but sharing is not one of her strong suits, especially when the item in question has a high demand. There are times she has chosen not to play at all, rather than share a toy. For her to see her friend had hurt feelings, FOLLOW him, and offer to share? Makes this momma proud. In other news, Ruby wants to go outside. She knows once I get on the computer, her only chance of being noticed is getting into my direct line of sight. That means the staircase right above the laptop display. Who could resist that face? It's even funnier when she smooshes it right between the bars of the staircase, but with those expensive eyeballs I don't like her to do that. She will sit and look sad. Then "tsk" at me and look annoyed. That is the signal that any moment she will blow hard out her nose (not a good thing, STUFF comes out). Then she will bark. And since she spits when she barks, the ewww factor goes ever upward. It's better to acknowledge her and let her out before it gets to that stage ;). I'd better go before she tsks!

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