Yesterday I was driving my daughter home from school, and we were listening to one of her favorite CDs. You know how it kind of becomes one long song when you're listened to a CD a thousand times and you know which song is going to come next before the last one is over? That's how it is with this particular one, and so I was already singing the next tune in the quiet space between songs.
"Mom," said Bess, "Sometimes I wish you were wrong." She was referring to the fact that, unbeknownst to me, she was trying to guess which song was coming next and I was interfering with her ability to do so.
"What do you mean?"
"When you are right then I don't have a chance to be right."
Once again, humbled by a four year old!
I know, intellectually, that by stepping in and "helping" her with tasks that are challenging to her I am taking away an opportunity for her to learn and grow. Nevertheless, it is much easier said than done, and sometimes I wonder (in that self-indulgent way that mothers sometimes do) if she feels that I don't care if I don't try to help. I guess I need not wonder about that any more, because in words simple yet eloquent she has let me know in no uncertain terms (in that straightforward way that preschoolers sometimes do) that she would prefer to struggle and succeed on her own, thank you very much. Whether it is doing a puzzle or buttoning a sweater or guessing the next song on the playlist, it's not really helping if she doesn't need my help.
Photo courtesy of flickr user merdi under a Creative Commons license