Bean has really begun to show an interest in getting himself dressed. He will get himself up in the morning, run to his dresser, pick out his own closes and get himself dressed. A small milestone, but it means that Mommy gets to lay in bed for an extra 10 minutes in the morning. That's the good news. The bad news is that Bean insists on buttoning his own buttons.
Bean's dexterity has always been a little lacking and so buttons have always posed a bit of a problem for him. However, since declaring himself old enough to dress himself, he has decided to tackle his button handicap and face his demons.
Mommy and Bean are in the locker room at the YMCA after a swim lesson.
Bean: "Mommy, I'm going to do my pants button by myself."
Mommy: (Feeling like the kind and patient mother that she often envisions herself as) "Great. Go ahead. You are so big now. You can do it. I know you can."
Bean: (Trying with his little fingers to manipulate the button through the button hole. He is no where close to getting it.) "Oh Mommy! It won't go!"
Mommy: (Remembering that her job as a mother is to encourage him and tell him that if he really works at something he will succeed. There is a life lesson here, Mommy knows it.) "You will get it. Just be patient and keep working at it."
Bean: (Starting to get really frustrated. His little fingers just seem incapable of doing it) "Ugh! Mommy! Why can't I do it! Ahh!"
Mommy: (Feeling that maybe this is where she is supposed to step in and guide him. That's right, she is his guide in life. He should know that he can come to her for help. That's the life lesson...maybe.) "Here, can I just help you a little?"
Bean: "No! Mommy I can do it myself. Otherwise I am not a big boy. I want to do it myself. I don't need help. This. Button. Isn't. Cooperating. With. Me!"
Mommy: (Now starting to feel a little bad for the poor guy because he clearly is having a very difficult time and is very frustrated since he has been working on the button for 10 minutes now. Problem solving. That's the life lesson. Let's try problem solving.) "How about if you lie down on the bench and try. Maybe the angle is just bad."
Bean lies down on the bench, starts working on the button then gets himself in such a tizzy about the button that he falls off the bench. He is now in tears and another mother is looking at them with sympathetic eyes.
Bean: "Oh Mommy, I'm never going to get it."
Mommy: (She is thinking to herself that he is right, he is never going to get it and why won't he let her just button the damn button already. Maybe there isn't a life lesson. Maybe it is just a button and it just needs to be buttoned. Now she is wondering why they require developmental psychology in all the liberal art colleges now. If she hadn't taken that class, maybe she wouldn't be so worried about this being a defining moment that Bean remembers. His mother in the YMCA locker room being very frustrated about a button. If this kid ever writes a novel Mommy is sure that this scene will be in it and this will either be a poignant moment about how kind and patient mothers can be or it will be about the mother who never has time to really teach her children anything and how she never seemed to have the patience for them and this character will come to question his entire existence because of the button in the locker room of the YMCA! The pressure is on.) "OK, here's what we are going to do. I will hold the button hole. You hold the button. We will do it together."
Bean: (This child will not be fooled. Crap.) "NO! That would be helping me! I don't need help!"
The other mother looks at Mommy again and smiles. As she is walking out she stops to talk to Mommy.
Locker Room Mother: "See you next week. Hey, at this rate, maybe you will still be here by the time we get back."
Mommy: (Mommy tries really hard not to shoot this woman dagger eyes.) "Ha, yeah, maybe." (Mommy was not amused.)
Bean: (Still struggling with the button, Mommy looks down and he almost has it! He says with a strained voice) "Almost there Mommy."
Mommy: "Don't lose it Bean, you almost have it. Almost. You can do it."
And don't you just know it, he got it. Praise the Lord God Almighty, he got it. All by himself. With no help from Mommy!
Bean: (Completely unphased as if he just did something as simple as blink) "Great, now I can do all the little ones on my shirt,"
There were six of those.