Saturday, August 15, 2009

Not always an angelic child

Today I went out by myself for few hours (first time in weeks, not counting the rushed morning trips to the supermarket) and it was great to slowly choose few books in the library, to look at fabrics for curtains & pillowcases and to lunch with a friend. I returned home to find the exhausted husband staring at the sky and the trees outside; the toddler sleeping after a long tantrum and her room looking like this.
After a tantrum
She is usually very well behaved in public, so people often get the wrong impression that she is a perfect angelic baby; who never screams, throws things, stubbornly refuses to do whatever is asked of her, but peacefully plays on her own for hours with cute little dolls.

Actually it annoys me at times when people comment to me or even tell her what a "good" girl she is, while meaning that she meets their expectations of good girl behaviour at that point in time. I probably wouldn't mind so much if their comments mentioned something specific, which they found likeable, but the general sweeping "good girl" label really bugs me. And the assumption that she likes playing with dolls and our house is full of pink stuff is pretty funny to me as she always runs to the boys' clothes section in the shops (well, they have Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob The Builder and Robots) and keeps on asking for the construction toys. I can't remember the last time she played with a doll, though she does play with little people characters from Lego and PlanCity. Her favourite pastimes at the moment are building insane staircases out of Lego Duplo (with some help from parents), drawing weird patterns on her body (maybe I should hide all the pens) and gluing stickers.
Stairs
She is usually subdued at the playgrounds, but take her to a museum, big supermarket or hardware store and she will joyfully run around in circles. She has lots of opinions and definite knowledge on what she likes and doesn’t. Sometimes it feels like she talks non-stop, though it usually takes a while before she talks to the new people. She is just a normal toddler, with her own oddites, good and bad habits, loud and quiet moments, joyful singing and inconsolable (at least to her at the time) tantrums.

9 comments:

Rachael said...

Your Katya sounds a lot in temperament like my Kristen with a healthy dose of 1st child high-spiritedness. Kristen never played with dolls either, which didn't stop me from buying them for her, but they generally were neglected.

Rachael said...

P.S. Your dislike of the general sweeping generalization of "good girl" sounds like healthy rebellion against Soviet standards of behavior and decorum. Could that be at all on target?

Annie said...

I never minded my children being called "good" and they always were and are. For a couple of my present bunch "good" does not describe their behavior at home....but having been involved in education for so long, and having seen a LOT of children that no one would be inspired to call "good" ever,(who, instead, inspire people to mutter bad words under their breath)...well, I am just glad my children behave beautifully in PUBLIC!

Annie said...

BTW, as I am reminded in the education course I am presently taking, general praise such as "good" is not apt to increase learning or improved behavior/habits. It takes specifics to do that. "I appreciate you being so quiet," for example. Perhaps that is part of your issue with these vague comments. But, to get the general idea that your behavior is pleasing to people - that's no bad thing! And I'm sure K is already understanding that they refer to her general behavior and demeanor and not her SELF.

Suse said...

I like her 'insane staircases'!

Yeah So said...

My son is generally good, but for some reason it bothers me when people say that to me too. I just want him to be typical I guess! I suppose its not just an adoptive mom thought then, huh?

Tanya said...

I think that my daughter is seen as difficult because she doesn't like to be held by strangers. I often hear comments that she has to learn to 'get over it'. Get over what exactly at 10 months of age?

vedmajulia said...

That's one impressive mess :-D

She is a "good" girl because she doesn't cry over every little thing and shows amazing amount of common sense from a young age.

Sara Lechner said...

this made me remember an episode with my twins (nr. 4 &5 from 7 children). once they were playing quite quiet in their room which made me suspicious. I found they had opened all the puzzle boxes of their elder siblings (more than 10 with more than 500 pieces in each one)and made a "hill" with them on the floor. no need to tell you we never solved that puzzle!
thank you for your comment in my blog. I am in Ravelry under "sibarita". I love this community! are you also there?