I was sitting in my rocking chair in the left back corner of my bedroom. While I was nursing my infant, I was also watching my four year old get dressed. She was sitting in the chair at my desk, a piece of furniture that belonged to my husband when he was a teenager. The desk is in the front right corner of the room, and it acts like a vanity. I have a mirror, make-up, and hair products at the desk; it's where I get ready. My daughter was wearing sea green leggings, a black dress with little pink hearts all over it, and a pink baby doll sweater. She had white socks pulled all the way up, and her shiny black dress shoes on her feet. If you didn't guess from my clothing description, she dressed herself.
I was watching my young daughter brush her hair with my brush while looking at herself in my mirror. She was very pleased. As she brushed through her hair, she kept asking me if she was, "doing it," meaning, "was she getting all the knots out?" The true answer to that question would have been "no." She only brushes the hairs in front where she is coordinated enough to reach. She lacks the motor skills needed to brush the hair in back of her head. I lied to her. I told her she was successful. I didn't feel like I was not telling her the truth though.
She successfully got herself ready for the day all on her own and she liked the way she looked. It was obvious by the way she twirled herself around in front of my full length mirror later. My daughter was very proud of herself and as her mom I was proud too.
I am sure there are some parents who would have had their child change their clothes before they left the house, making sure the outfit matched. Maybe they would have also brushed her hair to ensure that it was nice and neat. Not me. We left just as she was. The moment was too special to ruin with worries of what other people might think. Not to mention, I would have been interfering with her growing up right in from of me. I might have risked stealing some of her confidence, some of her independence, and her pride. I didn't have the heart to take those things away from her. She was amazing and I didn't want to interrupt. So when you see us out and about, my four year old might not match. Her outfit might be quite silly. We have even gone to the grocery store in dress up clothes. But she is on her way to becoming a very confident, independent, and proud woman. What more could I really ask for?