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The Girl Knows What She Wants

My little Pumpkin is starting to discover and assert her own desires and even independence. I'm finding it amazing (and not yet annoying) to see the little things she does to express her wants. Here are some cute examples.

Example 1:
The other morning, I had the Pumpkin on her changing pad, which is on top of her dresser. I opened the drawer right below her to pick out an outfit for the day. I was pulling out a white shirt when she reached in and pulled out an orange shirt. She's pulled stuff out of the drawer before because she's in a grabby stage, but it's always been random items that just happened to be in her reach. So, I put in back in as I always do, and I told her that she was wearing the white shirt today.

Well, let me just tell you that she was not pleased by this. She immediately started fussing. She would not cooperate with getting her white shirt on. Every time I started to pull her arm through, she pulled it back out. Then, she pushed the shirt back over her head to get it off. So I thought for a minute and then said, "Alright. You want the orange shirt?"

I pulled the orange shirt back out, and she called right down. I pulled it over her head and pulled her arms through without any resistence. In fact, she helped put her arms through! She apparently didn't care about the pants, because we had no issues with the ones I picked out to go with the shirt. But she did pick out the shirt she wanted to wear and insisted on wearing it. This is a first for her!

Example 2:
The Pumpkin saw the container of mixed fruit that I put on the table and asked for melon ("meloh" while tapping on the back of her hand with a finger--how she does the sign for melon). So I pulled out a piece of cantaloupe, sliced it a bit, and gave her some pieces.

She shook her head and said, "No." She then picked up the pieces and handed them back to me.

Huh. But she still wanted melon. So I pulled out a piece of honey dew, saying, "Do you want green melon?"

Indeed she did. She ate that that right up and wanted more. She ate all the honey dew and none of the canteloupe.

So far, her expressing her wants has not greatly conflicted with my wants and needs for her, but I understand that can become an issue. I'm just thankful that I'm pretty laid back about most of this stuff, thanks to the therapist I saw for my PPD! Most of this stuff just isn't a big deal. Does she want to hold her own spoon even though it will make a mess? Fine. Does it matter if she wears orange instead of white? Nope.

But I can't always accommodate her wants.

Example 3:
Lately, the Pumpkin wants Mama-and-only-Mama to pick her up and hold her, even while I'm cooking. She comes and tugs on my pants and sticks her head into my legs and says, "Up!"

I'm trying to teach her that sometimes Mama can't hold her while she is cooking*, like when I'm stirring spattering foods on the stove or cutting up veggies with a sharp knife. So I say, "No up. Mama is cooking."

Now, she has been wedging herself between me and the counter and then pushing me away from the counter, demanding "up." She is obviously trying to tell me to move away from cooking and Pick. Her. Up.

I wish that I could simply indulge her want to be held, but I need to balance her needs with mine, Londo's and even the pets (thanks again, therapist!). So this one I don't just let her have her way, but try to explain why I can't and when I can. I continue to tell her that I'm cooking and can't pick her up. That I am right her and she can hug my leg. That I will pick her up as soon as I can. Things like that. And once I'm at a point where I'm just stirring something that's simmering or adding already measured items, I pick her up so she can see what I'm doing.

I still find this all amazing. That she wants the shirt she picked out. That she wants the honey dew, not the cantaloupe. That she thinks that pushing me away from the food means I will be able to pick her up. She is learning independence and how to assert herself. I'm so proud of her for learning those things. It's also kind of nice that she also wants to be held and see what I'm doing, and that she lets me be part of it all still.

*In the comments of a previous post, Parisienne Mais Presque asked how I could bake with the Pumpkin in a sling. I will admit that it's not easy to bake or cook while holding her, and this is often how. I have to do the measuring and cutting while not holding her, which usually includes me telling her that I'm cooking and can't hold her yet. Then, when I'm doing easy things like adding or stirring things, I pick her up and either hold her with one arm on my hip or use the sling in the hip hold. I use my free arm and hand while keeping her as far away as possible. Sometimes I slide the sling back so she is half on my hip and half on my butt and both of my arms are in front and I can use both hands.

Most of the time, she is grabby, but I give her empty measuring cups and spoons to play with and just try to keep her out of reach of everything. It's not easy, but it is easier than listening to her whine and fuss non-stop. After she calms down or if I need to do something without her, I put her back down and try to get her interested in something else. Or else Londo takes her... if she allows it. ;-)


paola said…
Wow, fashion conscious at such a tender age. Zoe is not so interested in how she dresses just yet, or perhaps I simply haven't noticed, but I think it has a lot to do with having an older brother as a model and an older brother who doesn't really seem to care what he wears (although he does like his grandma's present of the t-shirt with the dalmations on it). But I think that is just his personality as he is very laid back and as long as he has clothes on his back, he is generally happy.

Now we have the sales on here she has been tagging along to shops and markets with me and has seen me try the same jeans on 3 times before I decided to buy them. I have to say I was a bit worried that I was displaying too much interest in the way my butt looked in the jeans. I didn't want to model the wrong type of behaviour after all. Strange that with boys I wouldn't even have thought twice about it, but with a girl....
Tranny Head said…
My kiddo is really into melon, too. I'm glad my son is a boy so that I don't have to fight clothing-related battles . . . except maybe yelling "pull your pants up" every now and again.
And so begins a lifetime of fighting with her over her wardrobe selections. Have fun with that!
Rudyinparis said…
Paola, I'm sure you were modeling correct behavior as you were undoubtedly exclaiming "Check out my amazing butt! God, I love my butt! It rocks!" every time you looked in the mirror.


Caramama, you just described Younger exactly, with the whole grabbing clothes out of her drawers while being on the changing table. The first time she did it she practically lunged right off. Now I'm more prepared. She's *very* particular and has some well established favorites. She even has a favorite cloth diaper cover that she's growing out of. She always runs to admire herself in it in the mirror. My God, they are so cute at this age, I can't bear it.
Colleen said…
Gavin only started getting picky about his clothes when he was about three. Must be that male gene. :)

Cooper has also decided that he no longer likes green beans (can't blame him) and now feeds them to the dogs, or puts them in the cup holder of his high chair tray.
Caramama, thanks for tips for cooking with a baby! I'll try it with le Petit and let you know how it goes.

So far, he could care less how we dress him, and is more interested in emptying the dresser drawers at any opportunity. When he woke up at five-thirty this morning we found a pile of diapers on the floor next to his crib. His changing table is within grabbing distance, and I haven't tried to reorganize to keep safe items out of his reach since he seems to have so much fun.

He's started to let me know when he does NOT want to be in his high chair or stroller, and I'm trying to figure out when I should respectfully insist and when I should give in. It ain't easy.
Becoming Mommy said…
Sasha doesn't care about clothes yet. That is, except wanting them off.
I've heard the best way to deal with the independance is to give them 2 choices you've already okayed. Then they feel they have power and asserted themself, but it's fine with you either way.
As you know, we can't do the sling, but we've found a way for me to cook with Sasha around. We have babyproofed most of the kitchen, but he can still open up some of the big drawers--the ones that hold plasticware. Then he can dig thru, empty, play, and i can watch him while I get stuff done. Works well!

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