These past few weeks I’ve really found myself taken aback with how proud I feel of Miss Belle for the simplest of things. Although I try to remember them all and write them in my weekly “what I’ve learned this week” posts there’s just been so many changes that I felt it deserved it’s own post.
Miss Belle has never been much of a dare-devil. I don’t know who she takes after more – me or Matt. Neither of us are particularly adventurous. Although I did used to like rides at theme parks when I was younger, whereas Matt never really has. But the thought of sky diving or white water rafting fills me with fear. They’re just not my thing. I have been known to be scared of bridges, but we’ll try and leave my neurotic tendencies to one side for now…
I suppose there could be a genetic element as to why Miss Belle’s never been that adventurous. It’s not like we’ve ever scared her or pushed her into doing things though. I’m talking about slides, wooden bridges, tunnels, you know, general kids play… that sort of thing. I’ve written before about how she finally got over her tunnel fear at Tumble Tots as a toddler. I think it took nearly a year. You can’t make this girl do anything she doesn’t want to do. She’s stubborn, just like her Dad!
So, it’s always wonderful to see our daughter conquer her fears or step out of her comfort zone. And it’s true what they say, it’s the small things that make me so proud my heart could burst.
Letting go of the “scary” and finding the fun
In the last few weeks she’s overcome the big red birthing ball at our soft play class, Mini Monkeys, which is basically wedged into a hoop thing and then used as a trampoline. She used to be terrified of that ball, but once she had a go there was no looking back. Unsurprising really, given she’s a jumping bean and loves nothing more than bouncing on a trampoline.
At Easter we went to Farmer Fred’s, an amazing soft play centre up in North Norfolk. She’s only been once before and at most soft play places we go to (Pensthorpe and the Dinosaur Park) she’s never been down any of the big slides. No no no, they’re “too scary”. So you can imagine my face when she tackled the big drop slide. You know, the ones that you sit at the top and edge off your bum, that are practically vertical!! Yes she went on with Daddy, but she was fearless! She was so proud of herself! She came running over saying “Mummy I did it!!” If only the place wasn’t full of people and Little Man wasn’t asleep next to me, I think I’d have whooped and screamed like some crazy American cheerleader. I sat there and beamed and clapped, mouthing “Well done!!”
The other week at the Dinosaur Park she was off ahead tackling a rope bridge. Again, maybe a few months ago she wouldn’t have done that. My friend said to me how much more confident she seems, sort of leading the way to tackle it all. At Farmer Fred’s she had me climbing up a rope bit that was really high. I had a moment where I thought I couldn’t do it. But I couldn’t leave her incase she got stuck, so I had to just go for it. She was off ahead of me!
And just this weekend, we started swimming lessons again. You might remember my post about giving up swimming because she was the cry baby of the class. She really went through a phase of hating it. I had a lot of comments on that post and many people said to just leave it for a while. So that’s what we did. It’s been a year and a half to be fair, but, we’ve taken her as and when we can and she’s enjoying it again. I sat and watched her, looking all grown up, and thought, wow, she’s mine! I felt so proud of her, my heart felt it might actually burst. She gave everything a go and she kept shouting “Mummy look I’m doing it!” Afterwards she told me she loved it. And I was so pleased because all I’ve ever wanted is for her to be happy.
I look back on times I’ve felt frustrated with her for not being as adventurous as her peers and now I feel sad that I ever felt that way. That I was ever anything other than proud of her. I know that at times I was that typical anxious first time Mum who felt desperately that her baby had to keep up with all the others. That stupid competitive Mum thing got to me. Ah how I feel so much older and wiser now. Some kids just aren’t that adventurous as toddlers. Miss Belle has taken her time to find her confidence with some things. And that’s absolutely ok.
Right now my sassy little three year old is on form, and I love it.