My Girl is really into this book at the moment:
It's the first book she grabs at bedtime. We have to read it twice - she to me and me to her. I welcome this - it's fun and endearing to see her put her own words to the pictures. What's more, it displays a keenness to learn and a sense that she is at one with her imagination.
But, I wonder, is Lauren Child a children's literary genius or is My Girl actully becoming Lola?
She's always been an independent little girl - even though she could barely hold the little plastic spoon, she insisted on feeding herself that rank baby-rice stuff that I introduced into her unexciting Mummy's Milk Diet way back when. She has always wanted to put her shoes on herself or mix the glue into the paint herself or jump from a great height herself. I've become used to hearing "I do it! I do it!"
But now she has a new mantra and before putting her skirt on inside-out, back to front, she takes a breath and nodding her head, informs me that:
"I can do Everything that's Everything all on my own." An ever so slight Lola mis-quote, which I'm not about to correct.
The night before last, we read the book (twice), read Peppa Pig and the Tooth Fairy (twice) and said our goodnights. She jumped out of bed, as eagerly as if you'd just offered her a bar of Cadbury's.
"I do the light!" But before she did so, she stood still and announced proudly with a pronounced bob of the head:
"Today, I get dressed ALL ON MY OWN, I push the red swing ALL ON MY OWN, I ride my bike ALL ON MY OWN, I brush my teeth ALL ON MY OWN, I read my book ALL ON MY OWN and I turn the light off ALL ON MY OWN. I can do Everything that's Everything ALL ON MY OWN."
But just how fine is that line between independence and willfulness?