Ask me again when we're in the terrible twos. I may retract that statement.
So, with this new found flexibility, I'm getting to grips some stuff that the mere though of would have horrified me a year ago. It's what I describe as "grandpa's prerogative" syndrome. The stuff that you let them get away with because they're not at home, they're in the company of people who love them but don't get to see them very often, you really don't fancy a meltdown during Sunday lunch service at the pub and it's a real treat etc.
A visit to a friend's parents' house for a BBQ the other week saw E eat her entire dinner standing up on a garden chair. But she ate LOADS, she didn't feed it to the dog and went home with a full belly. At lunch celebrating my dad's unnamed milestone birthday she drank two fruit shoots, both of which she downed in one at the time of consumption and ate only the scampi from her dinner plate, followed by dipping some fries in grandpa's gravy. That's not how we roll at dinner time, is it? Rearranging the entire greenhouse and moving all the bamboo rods to an unnamed location in the garden. Snacking on dolly mixture. Giving up on an attempt at an afternoon nap. You get my drift. I have found myself being surprisingly laid back about the lot of it.
What I do worry about is that I'm too laid back in how we react to 'naughtiness', or boundary testing, or learning manners. How we all chuckle at the indignant "NO" I get in response to asking her if I can change her nappy while we're enjoying the sunshine in the garden. It is funny, but what message does that give her? How we find it endearing that she's mastered the puppy dog eyes and just can't refuse her. Finding the balance of fairness now that she's learning to use "please" unprompted. It's easier to manage at home, but when we're out I feel myself letting things go far more than I'd ever have liked. Sometimes I think I really ought to stop worrying about it. Sometimes I think I need to get a grip and remember that I'm her parent first. I'm sure this is just another of many conundrums.
Step back for a moment, and take a look. Most of the time she will sit and have her nappy changed, and she's started to ask for nappy changes sometimes. Most of the time she happily eats her dinner sat down in her highchair, even if the dogs do get some. A few dolly mixture never hurt anyone and I must continue to promote these beautiful manners she's using. Even if that means sharing my yogurt with her. She's an entertainer, a comedienne, caring little soul who has finally decided that she will call me 'mimimummy'. I can live with that.
What a joy you are, E. What a joy you are.