I was proud. I still am proud. But this whole experience has caused some problems when it comes to her sister, my six year old.
"Why is she only reading small words?"
"Why can't she do subtraction?"
"Why isn't she reading chapter books like her sister was at this age?"
I was frustrated and Princess could tell...but that only made things worse. It stopped any possibility of her loving to learn. It was a job then. It was a job to try to read and it wasn't fun anymore. Numbers, letters and shapes weren't exciting like they were when she was a toddler.
Fast-forward a few months later when I went inside her class to explain to her teacher that an accident on the highway is the reason that there are only six kids in her class.
"I had to take a different road," I explained. "I'd have been in traffic for two hours if I didn't."
"Yeah," a sweet, high-pitched voice said behind me.
I turned and saw this little blonde girl only two desks away from Princess.
Her eyes widened in wonder as she went on saying, "but there was no slug in the woad so I don't know where the twaffic is coming fwom."
The teacher chuckled and looked at me with this, "oh, kids are silly" look and it hit me. I looked to Princess who was giggling away at a boy making funny faces and my stomach hit the floor. I'd been expecting way too much from my little girl. Her sister was more advanced and mature than the average kid at that age, but Princess? She was right where the rest of them were. She was where she's supposed to be and I was pushing her and stressing her out. I felt horrible. My heart broke for her and on my way home, I decided I'd chill out. Ever since then, I've been a lot more understanding of who she is and what she finds interesting. We've made math and reading fun and...at her own pace. She enjoys me "quizzing" her now and she just seems like a more relaxed kid.
I'm far from being the perfect mom and I'm learning about this parenthood thing on a daily basis. Yes, I have four kids, but not one will be the same, nor will the experiences be with each one of them. There is no limit to what can be learned as a parent and there is no level you can reach to be able to say, "hey, I'm a pro. I know exactly what I'm doing and I'm the best at it." We can do our best but by doing, we're still learning.