Monday, October 27, 2014

Building buckets of character

Some one recently commented that of all three, Jordan had the most serious disposition. If I think about it, I suppose it's true though Evan does come in a close second when he starts thinking about things a little too much. For Evan, it's part of him. He's the worrywart and he's me. For Jordan, it's because of circumstance.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing but it is painful to watch her have to grow up so quickly. Her seriousness comes from a strong and recently acquired of a sense of responsibility.

She was recently appointed Assistant Class Monitress and that sent her into a planning frenzy to get to school early. Packrat and I were suitably chastised when she asked if she could go to school on the school bus. When we asked her why, seeing that it meant she would need to get up earlier, she said she needed to be in school for her duties and the time we usually dropped her off was too late. When we promised her we would get her to school by 7 the next morning, she was by my bedside by 545 am shaking me awake.

To be told by our first born, in not so many words, that we couldn't be trusted to get her to school on time was a big metaphorical kick in the nuts.

Some weeks ago, she came down with the flu and had to stay home for 2 days. When she returned to school, she was given a whole stack of homework to catch up with. It was impossible for her to get it all done within the day and we didn't expect her to. But it evidently seemed that she expected herself to. 2 hours after she went to bed, she was up and out of bed pulling out her unfinished homework from her bag. Even though she kept dozing off, she kept at it till we forced her back to bed.

A lot of good that did because she spent the whole night sleeping fitfully and waking with a start and with worry because of her unfinished work. When I eventually woke her up in the morning, she burst into tears because she was so exhausted.

Our instinct was obviously to blame the school for giving her so much work but to be fair, it was work she would have completed had she gone to school. And when we spoke to her teachers to ask for the weekend to finish the work, they told us that she hadn't been given any deadlines. The expectations had been self-inflicted. Her teachers had noticed that about her as well and knew to reassure her that she wasn't being tardy with her work.

It's admirable that she took it upon herself to finish up her work and that she was tough on herself when she didn't. It's great that she's developed a great sense of accountability and it's difficult for us to watch her beat herself up about it because she's still our little girl. At the end of the day, she's only 7 and we've got to step in and temper it or she will end up being wound too tight.

That means, giving her the space to be silly and clown around and to chuckle and giggle like a 7 year old ought to.


  1. Gasp, sounds like me as a child! I used to cry inconsolably when I did not come in first or get perfect marks (and I never did haha)! She will probably be a Type A - just temper it with a good dose of love and reassurance. She will be fine ;)

    - Debra

    1. Debra, I agree! Temper with love and reassurance. And she's me too! She's ridiculously ambitious. All good things, just have to make sure she doesn't become a mega, super, Type A+++!