It's easy to write about my feisty-fun three-year-old. Keeping us on our toes, I'm pretty sure is her goal in life. Scarlett is the funnest little thing even with extra fire works! For only being three, she comprehends things that shock me, occasionally scare me and remind me to be on my best behavior. A peek into her little brain with a quick story-- A couple weeks ago, I sent her to her room over a tantrum. She kept coming out of her room continuing a good fit, then I would send her back so many times that eventually I locked her in with one of those child proof plastic handles that spins around the knob (no judgments, please). I went back into her room multiple times to ask if she was ready to be happy and come back down. Time after time, I got the same "NO!" and turned around, shutting the door and leaving her "locked" in her room. What a mean mom, I know. Eventually the tantrum stopped and I heard a light knock coming from the inside of her door. I went up, opened it and she was up bashfully taking steps backward deeper into her room. I crouched down thinking oh, she's feeling bad and wants me to chase her down for a good make-up hug. Once I followed her deep enough into her room, she ran around me, zipped out of the room and slammed the door shut thinking she had just locked me in her room.... I mean, come on. This girl is a thinker and a planner. You should have seen the look on her face when I pinched the sides of the handle and opened up the door.
Needless to say, she's methodical. This whole smart-cookie business spills in to other areas. She is starting to think and stress over things that are small and silly to most adults, but to a toddler, world ending. The other day, little Ms. Feisty pants said to me, "Mom, it has to be perfect!" referring to the way I was doing her hair... This made me stop in my tracks. Hiding a minor panic attack I asked her what she thought perfect meant (I didn't know she was even aware of the word). She gibber jabbered some response, but it was clear that the word perfect meant something to her. It meant that things were just right. Three seems a little young to be dealing with perfectionist problems, but apparently not. We are entering a new, slightly frightening phase of parenting.
I myself have never been much of perfectionist. This has probably not always served me well in life... I'm not very competitive and rarely stress easily. This is probably why I never came in first place.... Like, for anything. I'm a great second placer. In no way am I lazy or careless, I've just always had a very yellow personality and like to keep things light and fun. Like I said, this probably isn't my best quality. Don't get me wrong, I made good grades and have been a useful member of society ;) . But this makes me a rookie in dealing with this personality type as a parent.
Seeing that Scarlett already has a little bossy perfectionist side isn't all bad. I'm sure it will serve her well in many areas. It just scares the heck out of me that she is already worried about things being perfect at the ripe age of three. What terrifies me most is not meeting expectations she sets for herself or others, body image issues, and enjoying the little imperfections life throws her way.
So, we've had a few little chats since that first discussion on weather or not her hair needed to be perfect. Hopefully being aware will help us stay on top of this. While she still asks if things are perfect (pictures she's colored, toys she's arranged, the way food sits on her plate, etc.), she now follows it up with "It's okay if it's not, mom. We just gotta try our best!" This morning she even said "Mom, it's okay if my stuff isn't perfect because you're not perfect." Very true my darling, very true.