I started writing this when Danae was 5 years and 9 months old, then forgot about it. She is now 6 years and almost 5 months old.
Sometimes Danae acts her age, other times she acts like she’s 2, but many times, she thinks, acts and talks like a grown-up. Actually, that has been said about her since she was 2, just like what people say about Noelle now in terms of her speech.
Last year, I left Danae in King’s office, alone but equipped with pen, paper, laptop and RULES, as I attended a meeting in church. I also left word with a friend & church staff, Ria, to check on her from time to time. When I got back, I was surprised to see a McDonald’s meal on the table. I was about to scold her for asking for food (again) when she told me that she gave money. When I asked Ria, she said Danae whipped out a bill when she asked for help to buy some food. I was pleasantly surprised haha. It didn’t really register when she told me earlier that day that she had money in her pocket. When at restaurants, we teach the girls to call and talk to the waiter if they need something. We often let them ask for tissue or let Danae buy water at the counter of fast food chains. Sometimes they’re shy but they almost always do it anyway after a little prodding.
I often let Danae open the gate for me so I can park the car in the garage. She has learned to do that since she was maybe 4. When Noelle asks, I tell her she can also start doing that when she’s 4 or 5. I let Danae unlock the front door with my key, although there were a couple of times that she left the key in the key hole and I didn’t discover it until much later! Just recently, without my suggestion, she offered to wash dishes after every meal because she wanted to help out. I finally allowed her this time, as she has asked before, to wash her and her sister’s plates & cups whenever possible.
Unforeseen circumstances turn out to be learning moments as well. I usually don’t bring cash (bad habit), but pay using my debit card. Some time ago at the supermarket, they announced that their systems were offline. I thought I was in big trouble. I had to ask Danae to stay in line (which was already long) with the cart, ALONE, as Noelle and I ran to the nearest ATM machine! She was such a trouper — didn’t complain, wasn’t afraid. Things worked out anyway. I think the lines were too long at the ATM or they were offline too, so we ran right back to Danae. I called my mom to “save” me but she didn’t need to because systems went back on line by the time it was our turn. Whew! Another time, I left her and Noelle with our bags in the old Starbucks SM as I got the car. They stayed put and waited for me. They were in my view the whole time so it wasn’t so bad. Yup, I’ve done many crazy things as a nanny-less mom, hind sight. But that deserves another blog haha.
Both my girls are such troupers. We didn’t bring or rent a stroller on our Hongkong trip. THEY WALKED almost as much as we did! We are grateful though, for their cousin Gabby and his stroller, where the girls were able to take naps one after the other on our first day in Disneyland haha. We survived the rest of our trip without it. And in the airports, Danae was always eager to push a cart and pull/push one roller bag. Even Noelle helped pull King’s roller bag when we landed in Manila.
Noelle is the more clingy & cautious child, and she has been learning a lot from her sister, including being friendly to people. Although sometimes a tad over-independent and overconfident in my opinion, Danae has been a great example of independence and confidence. 🙂