Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"I wanna be more stylin'er!" -- responsibilty & ability at 4?!?!

Way back in the late summer / early fall, my then 3 year old daughter was introduced to Hannah Montana and quickly fell head-over-heels, I-wanna-be-just-like-her obsessed with all things Hannah. We're talking the same episodes OVER and OVER again on Family Channel (the break from Treehouse was nice, I must admit), watching the movie 3-4 times a day, rewinding the "Hoe Down Throw Down" to ad nauseum(everyone in the house can do that dance now! I swear even the 11 month old knows parts of it!), etc.

Soon after our introduction to Miss Hannah, my already-fashion-conscious diva started a mission of
"wanting to be more stylin'er" than Hannah Montana everyday.
This daily mission involved copious wardrobe changes, tears, tantrums, and one gawd-awful messy bedroom! My hubby and I were near at our wits' end trying to navigate our way through her piles of stylin' vs. rejected clothing! (I wasn't nearly as frustrated as him, well... first of all because my younger sister used to go through 5 and 6 outfits a day when she was a kid...well... she never really outgrew it... and secondly, I didn't mind too much because I'm female!)

Anyway, the outfits progressed to the shoes, and boots, and hair all having to be "more stylin'er".

No biggy, I thought. One day, while at the shopping mall, little diva asked if she could get her ears pierced. Now, I don't know what it was - divine intervention? - but I told her she had to phone her dad to ask him for permission, too. She did. He responded with a very firm "NO!" She was a teary, snotty, devastated mess... in the mall... with me... (why did I make her call him?!?!)

However, my girl is stubborn like her mother aunt, and she didn't give up. She would ask her father almost daily if she could get her ears pierced. By this time, she was, afterall, 4 years old and really felt that she should get them pierced.

So, my hubby thought long and hard about this one evening, and we talked. He thought it would be good for her to learn about responsibility and earning her way towards something. (Huh? He thinks too much!)
The next day when he came home from work, he explained to her that IF she could keep her room clean & tidy, and IF she learned to control her tantrums over clothing, among other things, she could get her ears pierced before mommy returned to work. This was October. My return to work is February 1st!
"How many more sleeps?!?!" (at the time we were counting sleeps to Halloween and Christmas and hockey games and visits to Grammie's house and...well, you get the idea.)
Ugh... "Um... like... 70 more sleeps..." I assured her (?)
She cleaned her room that day.  And again the next week. And she learned how to fold shirts, pants, socks, underwear. She learned how to find a place for everything. She learned how to sort laundry! (And our little 'secret' is, she likes to hide some things in the closet in the hallway, but Daddy hasn't figured that out yet! ) She even started sweeping and dusting her room! at  f o u r  y e a r s  o l d ! Even the tantrums eventually started to peter off.

Like you reading this, I never ever thought this would work; how could a 4 year old handle such responsibility? Would she even know how to follow through with this? (Did she know how to clean?) Nor did I ever think those sleeps would come to an end! I answered every single day since then:
"How many more sleeps til I can get my ears pierced, Mommy?!?!"
And, you know what? She cleaned and swept that room again today. It's spotless. It's neater than my room. In fact, it's the neatest room in the house!

But, even more importantly, there are only 3 more sleeps 'til those little, deserving ears get pierced!
Look out, Hannah Montana... my little, stubborn, determined girl is coming at ya... earrings and all... more stylin'er than you! ;)

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow! Do you think I could borrow her for a couple days to teach my 4year old boy?? He's saving for a Wii and has chores to do to earn the cash...he's not quite so diligent though! (But he loves doing dishes)


Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post! ~Dawn