It’s amazing how every child can be so different. Different in every way. Often I look at my children and marvel at how they could all be so different when they came from the same melting pot. DNA is a wonderful thing and of course it doesn’t just affect the way our poppets look, but the individuals that they are – their personalities, their idiosyncracies, their threshold for pain, their tolerance for the tormenting from an older brother or a younger sister and … their willingness to go to kindy!
Meet my youngest daughter. The last of my little tribe and perhaps the biggest home body I have ever known. She was born 21 July and after a little research on the Star Signs as they affect the child I discover she is able to lay claim to many of the traits of the Cancer child.
The Cancer girl is a caring and deeply devoted soul who enjoys nothing more than a night at home with a good meal and family all around. More emotional than most young ladies, she appreciates the nurturing aspects of home and hearth. The Cancer girl can be moody at times, often refusing to leave her shell at all and being, quite literally, a “crabby” individual. In general though, she is the first to express emotion in any given situation…the first to laugh and the first to cry. There is a good chance that the young lady governed by Cancer will stay close to home.
The first few weeks in any new location (school or residence, for example) can be very stressful to the Cancer child. It will be necessary for any caregiver to resist the temptation to “chivvy” this little one and tell him or her not to “be silly.” Fear and apprehension is very real to the Cancer child. The early years spent in school are usually when this child’s protective and defensive instincts truly begin to develop. This can make the Cancer child somewhat shy and wary at first but, on the more positive side, this will also be the age when the little Cancer develops his or her lifelong protective feelings toward siblings and other family members.
For the last two years, she has been attending child care for two days a week and then having two days at home with our nanny. And then on the fifth week day, she and I spent it together. As I think about it now, I’ve realised that the way she describes each week day is completely consistent with her star sign. She would always rattle off her week by saying Tita Day (that’s ‘Aunty’ for our Fillipino nanny), Kindy Day, Mummy Day, Tita Day, Kindy Day and then the two weekend days were “Family Days”. She would spend quite a bit of time assessing where she was at in her week – at the end of a kindy day she would start counting the days until she had to come again (and then burst out crying)! I always thought it was cute but never truly realised she was actually defining her days by the people she would be spending her time with. And being the Cancer Child, who is most comfortable at home in her shell, kindy was always the least preferable day of all.
A series of events (not unfortunate, just a fact of change) this year has now meant she must go to a second kindy instead of having the two days with our nanny. Her current kindy could not fit her in another day, let alone two and I need to work (yes, forgot to marry that millionaire Mum told me to!). We thought ahead to school next year, this would be a good thing – she could get used to a fuller schedule and make some more friends. I found her a spot at a lovely pre-school right next door to our office.
We forgot of course the Cancer Child does not cope with change too well. Her Taurian sister? Well, by week two she would have wrangled all the girls into a possy, whipped the boys into shape and would have sussed out exactly how to get around every one of the teachers, but not my little crab. Her resistance had begun to affect us all. On Saturday morning, she wakes and then start rolling around the floor, holding her legs, her tummy and her teddy and be literally sobbing about ‘going to kindy on Monday’! I kid you not. This then continues sporadically over the weekend culminating in a show of great proportion on Monday morning.
I am the quintessential Arian – strong (mostly to my own detriment), assertive and nowhere near caring enough in situations like this. I read with interest the description above and realised that I had been guilty of ‘chivvying’ and telling her not to be silly. So this week I decided to look at my littlest for the sensitive child that she is and have found a way into her heart. I have created a ritual around her kindy days that she enjoys. It adds time to my schedule (and I have to stop myself stressing about not being at work) but it’s working so far. We now leave the house early and she and I stop somewhere along the way and have a ‘coffee’. Well, I have the coffee and she? The Hot Chocolate. I know many of you would say I’m molly coddling my youngest and that I should tell her to ‘Take a teaspoon of concrete and harden the – – – – up” but I can guarantee you that approach doesn’t work for anyone.
No the Hot Chocolate does it every time – the ritual and the fact that in exchange for her heading off to kindy happily, she gets a solid half hour of Mummy time. I should also point out here that her end of day reports are always that she had a fantastic day, no tears, did a wonderful painting and even had a little nap on the mat. So, while it’s working I’ll continue the Hot Chocolate ritual. In fact, when I went looking for a pic of my poppet, I’ve discovered it’s actually one of her favourite things – out with mum and hanging at the coffee shop.
The good news for me? I’ll always have someone to take me shopping when I’m old and grey!