Today is my baby girl’s birthday! I do not need to be concerned any more about leaving my seven-year-old, Mika, behind without helping her grow into an amazing young woman. Now I get to be concerned I will leave my eight-year-old behind without helping her grow into an amazing young woman. Such is life. Mika does not like me still calling her Baby Girl, but it was her name for the first three days of her life until her dad, Donald, and I decided on her name. In our defense, Mika was born seven weeks early and Donald vetoed the name I chose. To protect privacy, all the children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) were referred to as Baby Girl or Baby Boy and their last name, so Mika was Baby Girl Whited for one month.
Mika started today in the bathtub. After Mika was sparkling clean, she and her older sister, Megan, went outside to photograph Mika for birthday pictures. I recorded a few minutes of the excitement with the video camera, and then came back indoors. Mika has the tendency to force her smile and make funny faces, so I am simply an extra distraction she does not need while trying to take a good picture. Megan did get some very nice photographs of Mika, and I consider the photoshoot a success. Mika spent the rest of today after her photo shoot basically doing whatever she wanted. I think it was a mostly good day for all of us.
Yesterday was not nearly as enjoyable a day as today turned out to be. Mika did finish her schoolwork by 1:00 p.m., and we left for Target to choose her birthday gift at 1:30 p.m. Mika thinks she is grown and should be able to make all her own decisions. Mika has felt no one should tell her what to do since she was in Head Start and learned she could tell adults no while being taught about sexual abuse. Mika has mostly ignored my directions since she was about 18 months old and realized I could not “make” her do any particular task. I know I was a very opinionated child and thought I knew everything until I was in my 20s, however I do not think I was quite as extreme as Mika.
Mika will fight you about her being correct on absolutely any topic even when she is completely wrong because she is eight years old and does not have any life experience. I am trying very hard to break Mika of this habit because I knew adults who never grew out of this phase of their life and nobody likes them. I am not attached to people liking me and I hope Mika will not be attached to everyone liking her, but you still need a few good friends even if you are very self-reliant. I have four of what I would consider really good friends and approximately 20 friends I communicate with semi regularly, but rarely socialize with. I also have approximately one hundred acquaintances I see frequently at networking events and hope to see again when COVID-19 releases its stranglehold on the world. I feel my four good friends keep me sane.
Yesterday, during the near daily schoolwork meltdown, Mika said to me, “You are not the one living life as a prisoner.” You might think this statement is related to the lack of activities we have been doing due to COVID-19; however, you would be wrong. I have been trying to break Mika of her electronics addiction also, but I am failing for the most part. I do not let Mika use the computer other than for the two online programs that are part of her schoolwork the district assigns each week since they gave up trying to teach our children for the fourth quarter, until she completes her schoolwork for the day. Yesterday, we were not leaving to go to Target until Mika finished the schoolwork assigned for today because, as I mentioned yesterday, I do not want to fight with her on her birthday.
My piece of advice to you is to stick to your guns. I do not put restrictions on Mika to hurt her, I am trying to help her grow into the best person she can be. I hope someday Mika understands the good intentions in my actions, however she may grow up to be a mother hater. Fortunately, I will likely be dead when Mika grows up and writes her scathing memoir about how horrible her mother was to her in her early years. Whatever issues kids have when they grow up are usually the mother’s fault, even if Mom is not there.
Until next time,
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