Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 5: I Do It!

Dave Hingsberger, at Rolling Around in My Head, blogged last week about how he feels like sometimes he's speaking a different language altogether from most other people - A New Language called "disabled."  Let me preface this by saying the word "disabled" leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  I feel like my daughter has a disability, but truly don't feel that she is in any way disabled.  Just wanted to get that out there.  But that leads into this post. 

Dave tells how people aren't listening to what he is actually saying.  Someone could say, "Let me help you," and when he declines and says he's trying to learn how to do whatever-it-is himself, they seem not to hear that, and carry on trying to "help."  What they're hearing is "I am disabled, please help me."  What they are not hearing is what he's actually saying: "Stop - I need to do this myself."  People mean well.  In misguided, impatient, overbearing, over-zealous, martyristic and selfish sorts of ways.  And this doesn't only apply to the "disabled," (or differently-abled as I prefer) it also applies to children, with or without a disability. 

I do it.

There are a variety of reasons that I do it, not the least of which is that I'm impatient.  I have thingstodoplacestogopeopletosee.  No time to wait as Samantha carefully navigates the staircase, pondering each foothold, perhaps becoming distracted by the cat passing by, making his way in the opposite direction.  Ugh, let me pick you up.  See?  It's so much easier, and faster.  But it served no purpose other than to fulfill my own, very short-term goal.  The longer-term goal would be the confidence and stability Samantha would gain by being allowed to raise her weight from stair to stair, holding on to the railing for support, not to mommy.

One other big reason that I do it is that I (cringe...) ASSUME (oh, how I hate that word) that Samantha can't do something.  That's right.  Making an Ass of U and Me, Samantha.  And you'd think I'd learn the first dozen or so times that You. Showed. Me.  You showed me that you certainly could do it, and didn't need any help, thankyouverymuch.  You pushed me away and said, "I do it!

I LOVE this stubborn independent streak that Sammi has.  It's feisty and forceful and does so much to build her self-confidence.  And, after all, isn't that what we really want for our children?  Self-confidence and independence?  That's what will ensure that she can fly.  Go places, do things, make friends, have a productive and fulfilling life.  Granted, she can't always do the things she thinks she can, but she sure can try!  And when she finds herself stuck, she asks for help.  And that's when it's okay to step in, to help her.  And I just need to listen to her.  To actually hear her when she says, "I do it, Mommy."


Kristen's mom said...

Stubborn streak is right. They are born with it and they need it. I know that is why we had Kristen for as long as we did. She was stubborn and did things her own way. How thankful I am for that.

Jenny said...

Loved this! I find I do a lot more for Russell than I should...I know I need to allow him the chance to figure things out himself...reading this was really good for me, I want to print it out and put it up on my wall so I can see it everyday as a reminder for how I should be treating Russell!

Melissa M said...

I love this post too! You are on a roll. :)

Claire is very stubborn too. I can already see it, and if she could, I'm sure she'd already be saying 'let me do it'. Patience is not my strong suit, and I try to remind myself every day to assist without doing for her.

Kelly said...

Great post Becca!! This is something I work on EVERY DAY!!! Thanks for sharing=)

my family said...

great post

Cindy said...

Great post. Very true, something I think we all deal with every day.

JRS said...

I do it too :-{

Zoey's mom said...

I am so guilty of this.With all my children.Especially Zoey.Part of the reason with her I think,is that,sometimes I assume she can't do it.A self protection thing that I don't actually know I'm doing.You know,the idea if she doesn't accomplish this or that,I will have already prepared myself for it and won't be disappointed?Make sense?

I really have to turn that around.Or so I've been told by a therapist or two!

And, I don't buy into a whole lot of the stereotypes put on our children ... but the stubborn streak.Yep,I'm buying that one.Hook,line and sinker!

Kacey Bode said...

Yep, we are stubborn here too. I often hear " I do it myself!!" Which I guess I'm glad she says all the time, otherwise I think I would do way too much for her!!!

Dawn said...

Awesome post. Not many would be able to admit that we sometimes do things out of inpatience. I think we all do it sometimes.

It's willing to step back and realize you need to stop doing it that makes this post even that much more awesome.

I am very guilty of it. I put Taylor's shoes on her rather than letting her take the time to do it because I'm ready to go.

Thanks for reminding me that I have a bad behavior.

Pallavi said...

Great post Becca... You got me thinking. At times even I do it.. Specially when Navya tries to self feed.