Madam has a strange fascination with belts. I really wish I could explain it, but I can’t. All I know is when she sees one, she will insist that I put it on her, which usually means wrapping it around her waist two or three times before doing it up. Yesterday, I bought her a corduroy skirt with a little belt on it. When I showed her the skirt, all she saw was the belt. It was definitely the height of her evening.
This morning, she was excited about getting ready for school because it meant she could wear…. her belt. So I took out her clothes and started dressing her while she clutched it. When I asked her for it she refused, because she wanted to put it on herself… I mean hey, she’s seen mommy do this so many times… she had this…. NOT!. On her first attempt she threaded the belt through the two front loops and tried to buckle it. I could see her little mind at work. She could see that something was wrong, but wasn’t too sure how to fix it. She started again. Second attempt she tried to get it around her body, but try as she might, she couldn’t reach the bit at the back.
I stood and watched for five minutes while she tried to get the belt on, but she really wasn’t making progress, so I offered to help. “No! Go away” came the very determined answer (pronounced no go wa whea). I hadn’t started getting ready for work, so I didn’t have time to wait this out, so I went to take a shower.
Fifteen minutes later after my shower, I walked past her room and she was standing in the same spot trying to get the belt on. I dutifully asked if I could help her out, she said no. So I left her to figure it out and went to get dressed. At this point I must confess that I was happy to dress in peace without her making fun of me. She does this thing where she puts on my knickers and laughs at how huge they are.
Another fifteen minutes later, as I’m finishing up I see her in my bedroom door way, belt in hand and a look of defeat on her little face. I walk up to her, get on my knees and ask if I can help. She gives me the belt and I proceed to thread it through the loops. Just as I’m about to buckle it, she steps back again and grabs the buckle as if to say, “don’t worry, I’ll take it from here”. I watch as she fiddles with it some more and realising that she’s not going to get anywhere she comes back and I finish the job.
Its taken me a while to learn that more tears are saved if I wait for her to ask for my help than to try and do everything for her even if it takes her thirty minutes to realise that its ok to ask mommy to help.