We have exited the land of an uber-attached 2-year old and entered the world of "my own self," where every task, no matter how monumental, must be attempted "by my own self."
Now I must admit, there have been many times that we have tried to suppress this urge towards independence. With three little kids in tow, there are times that we can't let sweet little Lily buckle her seatbelt by her own self because, quite simply, it would result in a full family meltdown to wait for fifteen minutes while she does so.
But slowly but surely we have learned to try to structure our lives around this little one's yearning for independence. This means that we allot more than twice as much time for simple activities just so that she can do it her own self.
And the ultimate treat for her is to surprise her with an activity that she can do by her own self that she might not even expect. Lily gave us a big huge smile when she puttered out of her bedroom to realize that her breakfast had been laid out with a little pitcher just for her to pour her milk by her own self.
I absolutely adore the look of complete concentration on her little face. This girl realized this was a big task and undertook it with nothing short of her utmost attention.
And yes, there were a few tiny spills, but nothing that a quick swipe with a washcloth didn't remedy.
We're not there always, but we're moving in the right direction. "By my own self!"? Sure, darling.