Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ava's Day of Attention

When you have a such an easy going little girl as Ava, she easily and often gets overlooked by two punky little brothers that demand a lot of time and energy. But today she got an overload of both my time and attention and I think she rather liked it, as did I.

I'm the room mom (and a crummy one at that) for Ava's preschool class but since I'm not allowed to bring the two little boys, I haven't got to spend much time in the classroom. We're making an auction item for her school's annual fundraiser and today we painted the frog stepping stones that we've been making for the past three weeks. My awesome friend Jayme, offered to keep my two little ones along with her 2 yr old twins while I went in and helped the preschoolers paint. As I helped them I finally got to see how Ava interacts with all the other kids and the teachers. Last year Ava was so reserved and shy that I was really nervous about how she'd do in school this year. I noticed today that she's still the quiet one but she's definitely making her own way into the social scene. Sometimes it's hard for me as an extra extrovert to watch her and not get frustrated. I'm learning to bite my toungue and try to take her as she is and wants to be. John always tells me that's just her and I guess he would know cause she's so much like him. Around just a few close friends she's bubbly, giddy and talkative but in a crowd she'd rather hang back and observe. Some days this makes for frustration on my part cause I want to push her into the group and make her have fun and I think she sometimes senses my exasperation. But today at preschool I could tell she was so excited to have me there cause she kept coming up to me randomly and hugging my legs or pulling me down for a kiss. It was quite sweet and helped remind me that even though she's my mature, grown up almost 5 yr old, she still really does like and need her Mama. She's usually all about Dada so it's nice to reaffirm that Mama is cool too sometimes.

Then this evening we had her first soccer practice with yep, you guessed it, me as the coach. She's been so excited to play and put on her cleats and shin guards for the past few weeks. So when we walked into the gym and there were about 10 kids already running around like crazy I was ready to see her jump right in. But she sidled up to my legs, clutching her ball and kinda whispered to me, " It's kinda crazy in here for me, I think I'll wait till the little kids get here." My first thought was, "Oh, no. I've volunteered to coach for this team and now Ava won't even play on it" but I was proud of myself when I told her that's ok, just stay by me for now and you can play when you want too. At 4 1/2 she's by far the youngest player on the team. You are supposed to be at least 5 to play and there are actually about four 6 year old rambunctious boys on the team so maybe it is a little to much for her all at once. She stuck to my leg most of the night but did try a few of the drills and activities. Then when we came home I realized she really did have a good time after she asked me if she could take her cleats, ball and shin guards to Florida with us to show Papa how good of a player she was.

I hope that as she gets older and more aware of other peoples opinions of her she will understand that I'm proud of her, anyway she wants to be. I think this is one of the hardest parts of parenting - watching your child turn into someone totally unique and different, but totally cool with their own character. I just hope that as her first cheerleader, I can give her the confidence she needs to go conquer the big bad mean world. Can my baby really be almost old enough for kindergarten?


  1. Good luck with the soccer coach thing! I know you'll be great. That age group is so fun to watch. It makes for some really good laughs!

  2. You are such a cute mom!!! I love reading about you as a parent. :) I knew someday you'd be really good when you watched all of my little monkeys. The hair pulling had me in stitches over here, by the way! I pinch mine.....