Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Not Quite Five

I expect a lot from myself, and often expect as much from others. When I find myself getting frustrated with Ada, I have lately tried to remind myself that she is not quite five.

When I ask her to stay and keep Mira company while I put Ian in bed, she whines that she wants to come upstairs too. I start to get annoyed, but then think "she's not quite five." I tell her how much it will help me and how much I appreciate her.

When she whines "but I want you all to myself" I think, wow, that's pretty self-aware for not quite five. I tell her that we all need attention, and that the quickest way to get time with just me is to let me get the babies to bed. Slow that process down with whining and demands and "I need it NOW" and it will just be longer before you get that special time with mom. This is a lot for not quite five. She just knows what she wants, but can not always do the things that will make that happen.

When she falls asleep on the couch 90 minutes before her usual bedtime, I think about how much emotion and energy and desire is wrapped up in being not quite five. I carry her up to bed, foregoing the face-washing, books and tooth-brushing in favor of a blanket laid over her sleepy frame, a quick kiss and even quicker exit.

Even as she becomes more self-sufficient and articulate, I realize how much love and careful attention she still needs. She is my big girl, but she's still not quite five.



  1. {{{sigh}}}

    Right there with you.

  2. Very poetic post and very true. :)

  3. I love this post. I think you are very self-aware for your age, too.

  4. I often feel I am at the other end of the spectrum with my just-turned-five, because he's the youngest (and therefore "the baby"). It's quite the seesaw, this parenting thing.

  5. I find this to be true with my just-now-three year old. It's hard being little but also kind of big. Love the picture of Ada.

  6. This is a lot for not quite five. She just knows what she wants, but can not always do the things that will make that happen.

    God, I hear that. The time-delayed multi-step action-consequence thing is just too much, most of the time. One of these days it will click, I have faith - I hear the prefrontal cortex develops by leaps and bounds in the early 20s. :)

    Ada is certainly a very big girl, though, and very mature for not-quite-five.

  7. Yeah, it's got to be hard to be the oldest. Or so I imagine watching my almost 10 year old. But then, I was the youngest and that has its pitfalls, too. Like your sisters still being mad that you were "spoiled" 35 years later.

    She's gorgeous, Nora.

  8. She's adorable! It's good to remember how young our kids really are. It's easy to forget that sometimes. You are wise.

    and I love Gwen's comment!

  9. oh yes...i agree. i too have to remind myself that my oldest is just five.

    great post. you very often seem to capture what I'm feeling/observing/experiencing and share it with us all so beautifully. thank you.

  10. True. I forget somethimes that my 3.5 year old is only 3.5. And that she is pretty freaking amazing for only being that.

  11. she's quite beautiful for not-quite-five. or for any age.