Oliver woke up a lot last night because of the snowplow/rain noises. Then he got up for good this morning at 4am. He doesn't seem to be bothered but I am tired.
I needed some mindless reading, so I picked up the latest parenting magazine that I got in the mail. No matter where I go, these magazines end up following me. I've never asked for a subscription and I've never paid for it, but yet... they always manage to find me.
I was reading an article about "helicopter parenting" and it made me think about my very much non helicopter approach. And then, because I'm really tired and it was around 5AM I started worrying that maybe I'm not hovering enough.
When Oliver bumps his head I don't go rushing to him; he comes to me for a hug and then goes back to what he was doing in less than thirty seconds. Oliver chooses most of his snacks; I either approve or deny them in my final say. I allow him to play downstairs with his toys where I can hear but not see him. He gets his own snacks out of the cupboard/fridge. I've just recently started having Oliver put his dishes into the sink or dishwasher. Every morning it's his job to feed Mya. When he has accidents, he helps me clean them up. He helps me carry laundry up and down the stairs and load/unload it from the machines.
For being less than 2.5, I make him do a lot. Some people think I make him do too much. Maybe I do. I don't know.
I don't want him to think he's just a slave. Even worse, I don't want him to think I don't love him because I don't do all of the stuff for him that other parents do for their kids. I know right now he doesn't have other parents and kids around to compare himself to, but he will soon enough.
Some people might think I make him do all of these things because I'm so lazy, but really I'm making more work for myself. By allowing him to play on his own, he sometimes does make huge, disastrous messes. Allowing him to pour out his own cup of milk means that he does quite often spill. This afternoon I found the fridge door not tightly closed. I usually have to rearrange every dish he puts in the dishwasher.
Really, I just want him to be independent and confident on his own. I don't want him to think he needs other people to succeed or be happy. But, at the same time, I don't want to turn him into one of those creepy mini-adults that can't relate to other children.
He seems to handle his "chores" well. He seems excited to tell me that he did something on his own. Yesterday he proudly shouted to the neighbor, "I feed my dog, Mya!" "I help my mom shovel!" "I make cookies with my mom!"
It seems like he has pride in what he can do. So really, I'm sure I must be doing something right. It's just way too easy to doubt yourself after a night of poor sleep at 5AM when you're looking at a broken DVD he tried to set up by himself. I really can't wait for Jared to come home.