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Four-Year-Old Goals

March 3, 2007

I think my four-year-old may be a champion goal-setter, but I'm afraid that she's setting the bar too high ...

 

"I'm gonna change," my nearly four-year-old says as the swing she's sitting in sways back into my waiting hands.

 

"When?" I ask curiously.

 

"When I'm four," she says matter-of-factly in her baby-lisp.

 

"Is that so? Are you going to change anything in particular?"

 

"First, I'm going to learn how to pump my legs on the swing," she says as I am clearly doing all of the work here. This is a big relief for me as I had anticipated doing this back-breaking, monotonous task until she was about fifteen.

 

"Anything else?" I ask wondering what's floating around her little complicated brain.

 

"Yep, I'll wipe my own butt," she says proudly.

 

This is another big relief. Usually when I'm sitting down for a meal is when I hear the scream from the bathroom beckoning me for wiping duty. I find her on all fours with her tights around her ankles. She hands me a wad of toilet paper.

 

Somehow my salad doesn't look so appetizing when I return to the kitchen.

 

"Wow, this is a lot at one time, pumping, wiping, anything else?"

 

"Yep, no more sippy cups, no more pull-ups at night, and I'll dress myself all the time," she says as she closes her eyes and drops her head back so the breeze can sift through her blonde wisps of hair.

 

A smile spreads widely across her face and she winces as her stomach drops with the downward motion of the swing.

 

"And this all going to happen the minute you turn four? Bam, overnight, just like that?"

 

"Just like that, Mama, I'm going to change!" she says emphatically.

 

Wow, I think to myself. I wish it was that easy to change.

 

I mean, since when did four-year-old start setting goals?

 

Maybe it's simply a product of the way our society is today, that we value goal-setting above everything else even if the goals can't possibly be achieved.

 

Frankly, I think she's setting the bar a little too high. I think I'll take it slow when I decide to change, keep my expectations low. Baby steps.

 

Cut my chololate intake down to once a day, read only one trashy entertainment magazine a week, maybe try that eight glasses of water a day thing again. My gut is even when she turns four I'll be pushing the swing.

 

I sure hope so ...

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