I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t like the 5 and a half year old stage. I’ve been struggling with one of the kids I babysit, there is a lot of tongue biting and counting to 10 on my part. I know this kid has had a rough year, with her parents getting divorced and all the shitty things that go along with that, but knowing that doesn’t always help when I’m in the moment with her. Part of it is that I have a different parenting style than her parents in a few key areas, but part of it is just the age. I realized at one point that I really didn’t like my niece in the 5-7 age range either, the backtalk and the pushing limits stuff makes me crazy! I’ll take the sleepless baby stage or the crazy toddler stage or the awesome preschool stage over it any day! It will be interesting to see how I feel about Ali when she gets to be that age.
Aside from my current irritation, which I just need to find a way to let it go, it’s really interesting to see how different parenting styles produce different kids. Of course there is the base personality that comes from genetics, but spending so much time with other people’s kids really lets me see how stuff like expectations/discipline/etc. play out over time.
Maybe I don’t have enough to do these days, but I spend a lot of time thinking about what kind of mom I want to be, and what kind of person I want Ali to be. I had your classic horrible, abusive childhood, so I don’t get a lot of inspiration from my own family. I suppose one of the best things to come from babysitting is seeing different kinds of kids and parents and having a real world example of how it all fits together.
In more interesting news, Easter was wonderful despite how the picture looks:
She is so not a morning person, even when there is a basket full of candy sitting in front of her! I hosted a decent sized gathering of family and friends for an early dinner, and everything turned out wonderful. My cheesecake was even pretty good for the first time ever. I had a fleeting thought of going on a quest to perfect my cheesecake skills, but then I would gain a million pounds and it’s just not worth it, I can live with a cracked top for now 😉