My four year old has a routine, of sorts, when he's finished with his shower. I help wrap him in his towel (as much as it would cover him because he still likes using his baby ones with the hoodie) and he scampers off to my room. He crawls in my bed and gets under the cover to get warm. There's a story here but let me back track.
He no longer does bath but does showers. He's at that stage, has been for a while but is more adamant about it, of "let me do it". Cue in loud, mental, mommy sigh and a vision of the long list of things that needs to get done but I know that this is necessary for his independence.. All I want to say, in my Sweet Brown voice "Ain't nobody got time for that". Alas, he needs his "let me do it" moment and I need to take advantage of it and let him. With my words as guidance, he washes his skin and makes sure to get the really important parts. He also manages to get the toothpaste on his toothbrush and brush his teeth.
Okay, back to my story.
This time, instead of letting me dress him, he jumps off my bed and runs to his room. All I hear is "mommy don't look, close the door". I can tell he's carried over his "let me do it" moment on to getting dressed.
I tell him that he is not closing the door but I won't look in. He then tells me I need to close my eyes.
In his little mind, he thinks that if my eyes are open I can see him. Not his fault really because I always tell him that I can and do see all things. He questions me how I knew he was doing something he wasn't supposed to do because my back was turned to him. So, I can see why he wants me to close my eyes. I tell him I must have my eyes open so I don't bump into things. He laughs.
All this while, he is searching for his black pants AKA dark jeans. I try my very best not to look at him. I hear him downstairs in the laundry room searching for his jeans. (Oh, yeah, I still have clothes that needs to be folded. Hey, at least they're washed and dried.) Unsuccessful in his search, he reluctantly asks for my help. However, I must close my eyes. I manage to help find his "black pants" without getting so much as a peak of him. He's happy.
Once he's fully dressed, he manages to get his shoes on. He doesn't come to me for help in tying his shoes but demands, yes demands, of his big brother to tie them for him.
Once all that is accomplished, he runs to me and says "look mommy, I did it!". He gives me the biggest, brightest and most proudest smile a 4 year old can give his mommy. He accomplished something, that I knew he could, all by himself.
All this is teaching me that I need to let my kid grow up. He is the baby and will be the baby from now on. I know he can do these things. He's shown me time after time that he can. I sometimes make him get dressed but I also relish the mommy and son moment of getting him dressed and talking. So, it's a toss up. Of course, doing it for them is easier but not the best thing for them.
He's ready to take the reigns, I just need to hang on for the ride. My baby is growing up.