I love watching Fleur work through challenging behavior with others. It reminds me how much more I need to work on myself.
Spending time with her older cousins, she doesn’t accept their unfair behavior.
She used to just cry. A year ago, she would tell me “no, sir!” Or sometimes just cry. Now often she has the vocabulary to tell me after getting over the crying. We have work to do getting to the point of expressing the need instead of crying. Baby steps.
There is also this sense of not wanting to disappoint us. So, when she does something wrong, she experiments with deceptions. Some of my favorites:
The stuffie did it.
The stuffie told me to do it.
It was her cousin.
There is also the good:
Organizing play dates. When Fleur and Lyra (the best friend from the Friendship post) get picked up at the same time, they emerge from the building, they tell both parents their plan. It might be dinner or the park.
The cousins, Fleur and Jasmine, have a tendency to intentionally or accidentally leave things the other enjoyed. Most of the time it is a accidental situation. I failed to ensure everything that was brought is accounted for before walking out the door.
The intentional happened often enough the girls started rationalizing the other intended it to be left. Which is maybe for the best.
It usually makes it home the next week. And both have enough one thing is probably not missed too much. And if that one thing is a favorite they move on to a new one in the week.
Just a year ago, Fleur would meltdown over leaving something somewhere. She has quadruplet cheap dolls because of leaving the first somewhere. Often enough in the past year she would get upset over forgetting to bring a toy.
Months ago, Fleur started talking about relationships. Namely she listed the labels we apply to who people are in our lives and who fit them. Galahad is her brother because they have the same parents. Her uncle is her parent’s sibling. Her cousin is her mother’s brother’s daughter. I loved this working on understanding the taxonomy for individuals.
She has an honorary sister. Abigail and Galahad grew up together. Through a twist of fate Abigail has similar skin coloring as Fleur and I, so people assume she is my kid at times.
For a while, Fleur talked about her sister Addie. Not Abigail. Not another kid at daycare. She doesn’t live with us. Still not sure when Fleur hangs out with her sister. It was super weird.
I can see why people think children tap into the paranormal with stuff like that.
The funny thing is this name is pretty popular. We keep finding kids in the periphery with it.
My cousins were geographically disparate. I had quite a few of them. They came to visit during Christmas or during the summer. We played together during these periods, often getting into trouble over our misdeeds. Or getting heated while playing video games. Being an only child for about half my childhood, my cousins were my “siblings.” They were who I thought of as family my age. In middle school, one family of cousins lived in town for a short while, which was amazeballs. (Yes, that is a technical term.) They came back to permanently stay in high school.
We get to choose our friends, but we are stuck with family. I consider myself lucky to have a good family. If anyone considers me intelligent, then I point to aunts and cousins and brother and parents who routinely destroy me at board games requiring advanced thinking. My ability to speak on any subject came from having to hold my own at after dinner conversations. (At some point it was more important to win a debate than win Mario Kart.)
My family is also pretty politically diverse, which helped see and understand different sides. And my practices of ingesting information came from wanting to hold my own in such discussions.