Ava's got all these quirky little gimmicks. She does this little side eye roll when she doesn't want to respond to us, her new favorite phrase is, "a bit more" which is hilarious (and like, where did she learn that?) and then the one she's been doing for a while which I can't seem to break is the whisper.
And this is where I need your help, input, advice?
Whenever Ava needs or wants something she isn't sure she's going to get, she refuses to speak to me out loud. Yep, she will literally mouth the words. Let's take the iPad, for example. Every morning I try to wake up a couple hours before Ava gets up to get my work done for the day but of course, this is rarely a perfect system. So most mornings I turn on a show or give her the iPad while I finish up what I need to do. (I know, I know -- I wish I didn't have to but I gotta do what I gotta do).
So every morning I get her out of her crib, we hug and kiss and snuggle and then she mouths the word "iPad" or "YouTube" to me, without a single peep coming out of her mouth. And of course I know very well what she's asking me but I always say, "I can't hear you. Can you please say it out loud?" About five more rounds of that and she finally whispers it as quiet as she possibly can so I respond with, "You're talking too quietly. Can you please say it louder?" Five to ten more rounds of the whisper and she finally says it out loud.
I know this may seem like such an insignificant little thing, but here's where I'm going with this:
As Ava grows older, I want her to come to me and be comfortable telling me or asking me for anything she needs. If she's in kindergarten and someone pushes her or is mean to her, I want her to feel comfortable telling her mama. And when she's in high school and if she doesn't anything she shouldn't be doing and finds herself in a situation where she needs my help, I want to be the first person she comes to and I want her to know that I won't judge her and I will be open with and I will listen to her and do what I need to do to help her.
But that's where this whole issue of balance comes into play:
If she starts asking for the iPad out loud, I'll want to give it to her to show her that she CAN come to me. Because if I deny her that iPad every single time she asks, you'd better bet she will continue whispering it and not feel comfortable asking me for it. And I feel like these characteristics are going to carry on for the rest of her life?
Just like my attempt at drinking more water ever day -- drinking barely half a cup one day and five bottles by noon the next -- so is the same with motherhood.
Motherhood is such a difficult balance to navigate.
So where's the balance? How do I show her that she can talk to me about anything without denying her and pushing her away in those instances where I'm not willing to give her what she wants? How do I find the right balance?