bella started her new music class yesterday. she had a blast singing and dancing and spinning around in circles. per her usual self, she had everyone giggling at her through most of the class.
after class, i was walking out with another mother and she said, "she is so cute, she seems like she has a huge personality"
to which i responded, "yes. too big!" (insert eye roll and nervous laugh)
i got in the car and said to myself, "why did i just say that??"
see, bella has a personality bigger than her tiny body, that's for sure. but i don't think it's too big. i love it. i think it's perfect. she is wild and crazy and silly and it's just fantastic. there are days where i wish she would reign it in a bit. it is exhausting trying to allow her to have her personality and also be socially acceptable at places like the library and grocery store. but as a whole, i love her quirks.
but i find myself saying things like that whenever anyone compliments her. and it's grating my nerves.
"i love her hair!"
it's so wild.
"she is so sweet"
she is a mess.
i do it when someone compliments me too. deflect. self depreciate. i hate it, but it makes me feel super awkward when anyone says anything nice about me.
when i do it about myself, that's fine-it's something i have embraced and even try to make a joke out of it.
but i hate when i do it in regards to my child. or my dog. or my husband (that's a whole other story......).
i am so proud of bella, and even when she misbehaves or does something embarrassing, i love her and appreciate the things that make her, her. but the response has become so knee-jerk, i wonder if i can unlearn it.
i find myself talking about how rotten she is when i get around other people. she isn't rotten. not at all. she does rotten things sometimes, but she is (almost) 3. she doesn't generally throw tantrums, she holds it together pretty well, and she adjusts pretty easily-even though it may not be as quickly/the way i imagined she would.
she does push buttons. mine. her friends. the dogs. she pushes her limits, daily. but she plays on her own, she is wildly imaginative, she is quick witted and she is so smart.
i like to think that we have cultivated a freedom in her to be her own person, and my remarks may not mean anything to her now. but one day, she will understand what it means, and i never want to do anything to dampen her spirit.
i also don't want to come off like i am bragging about my kid. yes, i think she is amazingly fantabulous, but i don't expect that everyone wants to hear about it.
for now, i try to tell her daily, HOURLY! that i love her and think she is so smart/sweet/brave/wonderful. and i will work on coming up with an appropriate response that doesn't deflect or depreciate. perhaps a simple "thank you" will suffice.