I mean, how much easier and faster is it to just dress her myself, brush her teeth myself, wipe her butt myself, zip her coat myself? A whole lot, and when I'm determined to keep her perfect attendance record at school, I like to give us plenty of leeway. We now have a few new routines, where I let her finish whatever book she's reading before she gets dressed/comes down for breakfast/whatever (as opposed to me threatening to take it away from her...oops, Mommy fail...), and I let her brush her teeth/wash her face in the mornings, with me doing it in the evenings (just to be sure her teeth are clean enough...). It makes for a much more copacetic start to the day, with Samantha more than happy to comply. I guess struggles often come from a lack of compromise, an inability to figure out which battles to pick. When I say that, it makes it sound like it's all my inflexibility, but she's a growing girl with a growing sense of independence, and I have to accept and accomodate that in ways I'm just not used to.
The other day, a day when I built a bit of extra time into our morning routine, she showed me something I had no idea she could do. Now how long has she been keeping this little gem to herself, eh?