BG is a little over two and a half years old now (hold me) and it is such an intense age.
Intense because it is filled with major highs and lows and both of them are such extremes that sometimes I feel like I'm on a crazy rollercoaster ride with no end in sight. She's a full blown little person now with her own ideas and her own thoughts and, help us all, her own attitude and personality.
And what an attitude and personality she has.
She has a current obsession with her baby dolls. One in particular. It goes everywhere with her. She's the baby's Mama, her doctor, her friend; everything. The other day she proudly told the man fixing our oven that she was "a doctor" and that she was giving her baby her medicine so that she could feel better.
This quickly lead to a conversation between the two of them about what a good doctor she was and all the other things you say in this situation when talking to a toddler.
He didn't belittle her, he didn't correct her (she's not really a doctor y'all..), he just listened to her and accepted what she was telling him. He encouraged her actually, by telling her that he bet she would always be a doctor and she loved that.
BG also likes to roar (thank you Baby Jaguar) and she does it at some less than desirable times. The other day, she turned to the teenage boy behind us in line at the store and let out this growl that she was clearly proud of. The boy, clearly taken aback, just looked back at her puzzled, and then smiled.
"You make a pretty good lion" he told her.
"No. I'm a jaguar. A baby jaguar." she piped back.
"Well you make an awesome baby jaguar" he told her and smiled.
I smiled at the boy and tried to give him one of those looks, you know, the ones that say "she's two, I'm sorry", but I couldn't. Because he wasn't looking at us anymore. He was looking around at everything else in the store as if he hadn't been growled at just two seconds before.
He wasn't shaking his head at the oddity of a roaring child, he wasn't correcting her and telling her she was just a little girl. He had moved on. He had accepted what she said and moved on.
It got me thinking yesterday, when these guys are this age, we are so accepting of what they do and who they are. We laugh at their quirks and we encourage their individuality. I adore the fact that BG wants to wear eighteen different patterns in one outfit and when she manages to get out in public like that, people love it. They laugh with her and not at her when she does something silly. It's pretty awesome.
It's odd though, because if a teenage boy had roared at that other boy, he would've gotten a weird look and a mutter under the breath for sure. At the least. And while I'm not saying teenage boys should go around roaring (people should learn some self control...), I am saying that it kind of stinks that the uniqueness praised as a toddler, becomes a "bad thing" when you're older.
Sometimes. Obviously not always.
I'm pretty sure that someday, if BG decides to wear eighteen prints in one outfit, she will be made fun of. If she breaks into a dance in the grocery store aisle (which she has been known to do) when she's sixteen, girls will probably snicker at her. If she roars as a twelve year old, people will probably wonder "what's wrong with that kid?".
And that y'all, absolutely sucks?
I spend a lot of time encouraging BG's random dance parties. I like letting her pick out her own clothes. I encourage the wild little ideas she comes up with (which is why she's been rocking a baby in a sling for two days), I constantly laugh at her jokes, and I always tell her how special she is. And how funny. And how smart.
Because I want her to know that she is amazing just the way she is. I want her to know that she was custom made by God. That He designed her to a T. That everything about her was picked out for a purpose.
I wish I could always keep her like she is now. As innocent as she is now. I wish she would always be blind to color. That she would ask about the things that make people different, but then just accept them for that and include them anyway. That she wouldn't care if the boy next to her has Downs Syndrome or is in a wheelchair, but only cared if he made her laugh or had a good conversation with her.
I wonder at what point we quit looking at people as "that's just who they are" and start seeing them as "that's so weird, why are they like that?". I hate it.
So as her Mom, I'll encourage her quirky little habits. Because they make her who she is and she absolutely rocks. And I guess I'll deal with it later when she's picked on or what not. Because I never want to tell her to change for other people. Just as I never want her to expect someone to change for her.
We will work on the roaring at the random people though. I don't want people thinking she's rabid. ;)