We went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens today (many, many pictures forthcoming), followed by a trip out for a late lunch and, as if that weren't enough, that was followed by a trip to the ice cream & book store. The girls were very tired. Sarah had long-since passed out when Kate was in full meltdown. Jeremiah gave up. He passed bedtime duties off to me as Kate lay crying in her bed "I have to go to the potty!" over and over. For some reason, it wasn't occurring to her to just go to the potty. So I took over. Because this was exhaustion meltdown as opposed to manipulative meltdown, it was pretty easy for me. I managed to get her into the bathroom and onto the potty. To further my own point to her that she needn't wait for a grown-up to assist her in this task, I left her alone with instruction to yell for me if she needed help.
Finally, her tiny coo came from the bathroom. I looked at the doorway from where I sat and saw her poking her head out. I headed in. She'd managed to complete the whole peeing transaction without me and was on to hand-washing. She only wanted company. I washed my hands with her. As we lathered up together she said to me "I'm not a baby anymore." I agreed that was so as I dried my hands. "I'm a big girl" she went on. I agreed once again. Then she turned around and looked at me and asked "are you proud of me?" and I went from patronizing response to nearly crying in a fraction of a second.
I looked at her, this creature who makes us all laugh and who sings at the top of her lungs to her favorite songs (you should hear her do KD Lang's Big Boned Gal) and who is so sweet to her kid sister. I couldn't imagine she'd have to wonder. "Oh, honey" I said, instinctively brushing a hunk of hair from her face "I'm very proud of you." What I really should have asked is - is she proud of me?