Making me proud in surprising ways

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As a parent, there are many times when my children 
have made me feel proud of them.

When they’re babies it’s all the little milestones, like when they smile or laugh for the first time, or when they can sit up on their own and then move on to crawling.

Later it might be when you see a tooth emerging from the gums, (although to be honest, the upset the tooth creates normally dispels that proud feeling) or when they say ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ for the first time, that’s a big proud parent moment.

But all these things are natural, inevitable and part of life.

You could even say predictable.

This is why I get more proud when my daughters do something that involves effort on their part and also shows off their personality and are not so obvious.

I’m talking about things that show them as an individual.

Recently when two-year- old Alyssa went suspiciously quiet, I assumed the worst; she’s up to something.

But instead of finding crayon scribbles all over her nicely-painted bedroom walls, or seeing that she had emptied her wardrobe and chest of drawers all over her bedroom floor, she was simply sitting quietly playing with her dolls.

I felt proud.

Four-year-old Caitlin has been helping out with the household chores and asked if she could do the washing up after dinner time.

So stood on a chair in front of the washing-up bowl full of warm water, bubbles and a few cups, she got to work.

In the end there was more water and bubbles on our kitchen floor than in the bowl, but I was still proud, especially as she actually did a good job of cleaning the cups.

All parents to young children know that getting your child to try something new at dinner time is sometimes easier said than done.

They see something alien on 
their plate, normally a vegetable, and refuse to put it anywhere near their mouth.

Alyssa surprised us all when she tucked into a stir fry, full of new foods and flavours, that she had not experienced before and finished her plate and left me feeling proud.

But my favourite is when my daughters show a bit of attitude and individuality.

Recently after raising my voice at Caitlin for not doing as she was told, she responded calmly but with a cheeky smile on her face by saying ‘Okay, chill out dad.’

I tried not to laugh but couldn’t hold it in and was left wondering where she learnt that phrase.

I was also feeling proud at the sarcasm and the glimmer of hope that as she grows up she won’t be a pushover.