I’m delighted to host a guest post from the lovely Kate from Kate Takes 5. Kate lives south of Dublin in Ireland with her three children, and her blog is a treasure trove of gorgeousness, from the beautiful photos to the parenting wisdom. So … take it away, Kate:
At the moment she and her friends are glued to Video Star, an app that lets you make music videos to various songs – miming the words and dancing along as you go.
So far she’s done about 3476 of those videos, and after being super-impressed with the first 500 they sort of fell off my radar. Sorry precious first born.
But this is not about her. It’s about her little brother, who at eight years old is told clearly and in no uncertain terms if and when he is allowed to use her Video Star app.
And just as she fits so nicely in the First Born box, so too does her brother fit in the Middle Child one. The forgotten peacemaker, he is also very sporty and so has inadvertently been labelled ‘The Sporty One’.
But as we all know we shouldn’t place labels on children as they are far from one dimensional.
Yesterday as big sister deigned him the right to use her app, Middle Child took the iPad and disappeared for some time behind a closed bedroom door. As he spends most of his time playing, watching or talking about either football or Minecraft I was fairly sure he would be quickly bored.
But when he emerged from the room and sidled up to me, his face was the perfect mixture of pride and shyness as he quietly asked me if I wanted to watch what he had made.
As we sat with our heads together watching his out of synch miming, his awkward dancing and his new creative inroads, I felt my eyes welling up and my heart breaking with the pure innocence and vulnerability of it all.
When the video finished he looked up at me expectantly, searching my face for approval – and I felt like I had never loved him more.
And that’s parenting for you. Just when you think you have the measure of things, a moment occurs that leaves you wondering who this little person before you really is and whether you have short-changed them with your expectations and lazy labelling.
And so you hug them and kiss them and look at them again – someone you know so well, yet not at all, and you realise the importance of parenting outside the lines.