Since I began blogging a year ago I have made a conscious effort not to write too much about my children's lives. Whilst I do stick to the 'write what you know' rule, and motherhood provides me with daily anecdotes, I am aware that they are their own people and I should try and respect their privacy. As I begin this post I am concerned that I am delving a little deeper into my daughter's privacy than I usually like to, but I feel I have an important point to make.
Little O is my youngest. She is a force to be reackoned with; fiesty, temperamental, fiercely independent, cheeky, clever, loving, fearless, loud, I could go on. The thing is if I described her using this vocabulary to anyone apart from my husband and daughters I am met with a blank gaze. The little O other people see is not the one we know and love. I am beginning to notice how assuming many people are when it comes to children. I am often told how lucky I am to have such well behaved children. O is compared to her cousin, of the same age. Whilst he is described as a typical 'boy', very independent and head strong O is simply 'easy'. I wish to take a stand and say, my child is not 'easy' my child keeps me on my toes all day every day, and I am very happy with that, but please don't try and shoe horn her into a category when you simply don't know her.
The saying is well known, 'Don't judge a book by it's cover'. It seems more often than not children are judged by the one personality trait they show more commonly. If a child is a joker at school, they are often labelled 'trouble maker' and this is then carried with them through all their school years. Likewise if a child shows particular flare in one subject they are deemed a geek, or teacher's pet. Little O is shy. She is an introvert and I have known this since she was a baby. Infront of us she is a live wire, in front of others, be it friends or extended family, she keeps herself to herself. She warms very slowly to people, and not even her grandmothers have seen the real her.
The question I ask myself daily is, does it matter? Does it matter if people don't know the real her? I honestly don't know. Currently she is two, and quite obviously it doesn't matter in the least bit to her at the moment. She is who she is in front of us, and she is who she is in front of others. If it doesn't matter to her, then it shouldn't matter to me, but weirdly it does. I feel increasingly put out when I hear people describe her. They may as well be describing another person.
I would never want her to change, if she becomes more confident around others in time, then good for her, if she doesn't then that is good too, I love her personality traits. Instead I would love it if adults could change the way we form opinions about other people's children. I have been guily in the past of assuming children are a 'handful' when they are simply having a bad day, are teething, or are poorly. We are obviously our own children's biggest fans, but when other kids are involved perhaps we do need to instil the 'don't judge a book by its cover rule'. First impressions may serve us well throughout adulthood, but when children are concerned, the longer we take to get to know them, the better.