“No, Daddy, I can do it myself!” I’m hearing this a lot these days.
I wrote a post a couple of months ago in which I compared each of my three children to Mr Men and Little Miss characters. Kara was a cross between Little Miss Bossy and Little Miss Fun. If such a character did exist, however, her perfect match would be Little Miss Independent.
She may only just have turned four but Kara is a girl in a hurry to show how grown-up and self-reliant she is. Being the youngest of three siblings who are close in age will do that to a child but there’s no mistaking the fierce streak of determination that sits at the core of her personality.
At every given opportunity she will assert her right to do things herself with a complete absence of fear or doubt. From jumping in to a swimming pool to chopping up vegetables to insisting on sitting at her little vanity table brushing her hair, tying it back in a ponytail and accessorising with a flowery band and a hair-clip – the end result of which you can see in this week’s photo – there is nothing she believes cannot do unaided, and usually she’s right.
I love that about her, as infuriating as her refusal to accept help can be sometimes. As someone who has always struggled with confidence and self-doubt, I love her ‘can do, will do’ attitude. I hope that stays with her as she grows older. So often childhood optimism gets beaten out of us by a combination of bitter experience and the words of others, to be replaced by adult conservatism. I want my girl to believe she can do anything and to at least try to achieve anything she sets her sights on.
When I think of Kara’s independent streak, I’m reminded of the lyrics of the Ne-Yo song Miss Independent:
She got her own thing
That’s why I love her
Won’t you come and spend a little time?
I’m also reminded of the similarly titled single by Kelly Clarkson, the aspiring singer who went from cocktail waitress to global superstar when she became the original (and still the best) winner of American Idol.
If that’s the kind of Miss Independent Kara aspires to become, that’s fine by me.