Bud has suddenly started asserting his independence, and I couldn't be happier about it.
We've seen flashes of it before, but all of a sudden this week he has been insisting that he doesn't need help and that he wants to do things on his own.
The other day I started to help him wash his hair in the shower, and he stopped me: "No, Mama. I'll do it myself." I stepped back and gave him some privacy as he massaged shampoo into his scalp, then I offered to help him rinse it out. He turned me down.
Yesterday at the end of the school day, the children in Bud's class sat down for their math lesson. Bud turned to his aide and said "I'll do it myself."
She happily stepped aside and watched as he sat at his desk, chatted appropriately with his neighbors, and stayed focused and on-task. Then she wrote a very happy note in his school-to-home notebook.
This morning Bud stopped me at his bedroom door when I tried to help him get ready for school.
"You go out there," he said, pointing to the hallway. "And close the door. I'll do it myself." I stepped outside and heard him rustling through drawers. On the first attempt, he came into the hallway with his shirt inside out. Then he forgot to put on underwear. The next time he emerged, his underwear was on, but he had both legs through the same leg-hole. Each time, he happily accepted my suggestions on how he might make a change, but he insisted that he did not want any help from me.
And then he emerged, in clothes I probably wouldn't have chosen, a bit more rumpled than I might have liked, but with a wide smile on his face and a shining pride in his eyes that I couldn't have put there.
He had to do it himself.