As a preschool teacher, I often glean a lot of information about a child's homelife by how they treat their toys. A child spends a lot of time play-acting with inaminate objects, repeating whole conversations from home. Don't ever believe that your child does not hear every single word you say, even when the comment is not meant for their ears. Nothing cracks me up more than to see a 5 year old boy on the playground find some new bug or treasure and yell at the top of his lungs "HOLY CRAP!!"
My own daughter this morning was talking to her visiting friend about her new dog. They were both giggling about how Eddie was licking himself. My daughter proudly proclaimed "Well, he has such big balls, he has to keep them clean!" I'm sure the other girl's mom is going to be so happy to hear that! Again, thanks for introducing that term to her Hubby!
But I am learning a lot about who I am as a parent by watching my daughter interact with our new pet. He's 9 months old, not really a puppy, but still in need of a lot of supervision. She hovers over him with an almost neurotic intensity. If he goes into another room, she follows just to make sure he is okay. If he doesn't want to sit with her she becomes sad because she thinks he doesn't like her as much as the rest of us. When she takes him for his walks, she is constantly surveying the area for danger, although she lets him sniff where he wants to, as long as she is right there beside him. It's quite amazing.
I've raised my daughter to be very independent with activities. When she was three, she would put her shoes on at school and then help all of the other kids with their shoes and coats. She has gotten her own drinks and snacks since she was 4. She fixes her bed and does her chores, but still hangs on me and wants to snuggle ad nauseum. And yet, when I see her with Eddie, I see myself reflected in her actions; how I hover and watch and guard her so closely, sometimes making myself sick with worry. I am the perpetual helicopter parent. But I am not going to make apologies for that. In this day and age, I think you have to be.
But I think I need to learn my lesson from this. You can't always enjoy what you have if you can't let go just a little. It tends to own you. I think today, just for the fun of it, I will yell "Holy Crap!" just to see what E will do!