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2011 November 9
by Pamela

Elizabeth has been getting by on her good looks and charm for far too long.  There are so many things, like buckling her own seatbelt and buttoning her coat, that she should be able to do developmentally but says “oh, I can’t” and one of us (usually me) gets frusterated and does it for her.  

Maybe I’m just jealous that she’s mastered the “damsel in distress” routine better than me, but I’ve had enough of this enabling business and decided her shoes were going to be my first battle. 

I purposely gave myself extra time to leave the house today, then called Elizabeth over and asked her to bring me her (very simple) velcro tennis shoes.  She obligingly does so, then lounges on the floor, waiting for me to put them on her.  And maybe feed her some grapes while I’m at it.

So I lay down the law:  you are going to start putting on your own shoes.  Right now. She wiggles one inch of her toes into the shoes and oh my gosh, they didn’t magically go on and then decided to give up.  I started giving her veerrrry specific instructions and we made some progress, “peel the velcro, pull back the tongue, put your foot in, YAY!!!!!!, good, now put your tongue down and re-attach the velcro”.  Then I walked away.

I come back a full five minutes later, I’m not even exaggerating, and she has taken her own tongue and pressed it onto the tennis shoe and has been sitting there all that time.  No, I’m not kidding.  I told her to “put your tongue down” and she took it literally. 

I am afraid she is going to be living in my basement until I die.

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