Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Suddenly Decided that I Don't like Water on my Face

It is really strange but ALL my friends tell me that round about 24 months is a funny time for kids. They need to establish that they are an entirely separate entity from their parents and impose their mighty little wills on the world around. And Suddenly what seemed easy before seems pretty hard!

Like having a shampoo. Sophie never used to protest having water on her face and could duck her head under a running tap and giggle.


This is the last photo (taken in Singapore) where I could wash her hair without howls of protest. It's a bit fuzzy because I stupidly left my camera (charging!) in Beijing so it's taken with my dad's phone. Anyway, you can see that all is well until that point and some water on her face does not cause the neighbours to wonder if we engage regularly in child-abuse.

We have since worked out that it isn't water that she suddenly became afraid of because she still loves to go swimming. It's just a growing awareness perhaps that she can (and does) express an opinion and exercise control over her own body and surroundings.

There's a cheesy line from this Will Smith movie, which anyone who is not a parent is likely to gag at, but contains a sentiment that anyone who has a child will probably understand -- "Don't let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. Not even me."

We have do that whole "explaining" thing and suggesting alternatives or bargains (e.g. Mummy wash Sophie - Sophie wash Mummy?). I have to laugh at the bargains she sometimes comes up with, and I would not want to face her as an opponent across the negotiating table - but generally Sophie is pretty reasonable.

Which is probably why I am fine with the idea that she sometimes needs to be persuaded to wash her hair.

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