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Tomorrow

So our little Grace is growing and thriving wonderfully… in beauty, intelligence and her own distinct quirkiness. Her big brother has always been a big sweetheart. But Gracie… how can I even begin to describe this wacky, weird, kooky, droll little oddball character.

GraceUmbrella

Lately, Grace has developed this thing about ‘tomorrow’.

It’s quite interesting actually.

You see children’s memories are very fluid. They live moment to moment. Only focusing on the here and now. Young children in particular tend to think in a ‘fixed mindset’. Which means that they don’t naturally assume things can or will change. Sometimes in a particularly tough moment, they can feel overwhelmed by the situation or their own emotions. As they grow and develop, and with some help and guidance, they eventually begin to develop their inner sense of empowerment to find their own way to navigate their way through such emotions or situations. [source]

Grace is now finding her own way to gain a sense of inner empowerment over any tough emotions or situations she cannot control. And she is finding it in her use of the word ‘tomorrow’: i.e. situations or things can and will change ‘tomorrow’. She will usually repeat a version of her ‘tomorrow’ phrase to us and to herself to help ward off a tantrum or meltdown. It’s a groundbreaking thing to observe her use ‘tomorrow’ as method to gain her composure, beyond just retreating to a corner with teddy. This is growth, people. Growth.

(Note: Grace’s use of the word ‘tomorrow’ is generally not meant in a literal sense as she is still learning to grasp the concept time in a concrete way. But it’s her way of indicating a future event or point in time.)

Here are some examples of how she does this…

Grace: Can I go and play outside?
Mum: No, it’s getting late and it’s time to get ready for dinner.
Grace: *Begins to cry* I want go outside!
Mum: No. It’s time to be inside now.
Grace: *Teary voice* I can go play outside tomorrow?
Mum: Yes, you can play outside tomorrow.
Grace: *Strained voice* Okay, mummy. *sniff sniff*

[Later on…]
Grace: Mummy, can I have sweet?
Mum: No. Dinner is almost ready.
Grace: *Eyes welling up with tears* I can have sweet tomorrow?
Mum: Yes, you can have a sweet tomorrow.
Grace: Okay, mummy. *sniff sniff*

[Later in the evening after dinner and bath…]
Grace: *Holding my face between her hands and staring straight into my eyes* Muuuuummy???
Mum: Yes, Gracie?
Grace: *Whispering* I hungry.
Mum: Hungry? But you just had dinner!
Grace: *Pathetic look on face* But I so huuuuungry! I want FOOOOOD!
Mum: No more food now. But you can have some milk.
Grace: *Mouth turned down sadly* I can have food tomorrow?
Mum: Yes. You can have food tomorrow.
Grace: Okay, mummy. *sniff sniff*

[Grace loves sultanas. She sometimes even shoves them down her mouth by the handful. She will often ask for a small pile of them to munch on after breakfast…]
Grace: Mummy, can I have more sultanas?
Mum: That’s enough sultanas for today. It’s time to come down and play.
Grace: *Lip starts to quiver* I can have sultanas tomorrow?
Mum: Yes. You can have more sultanas tomorrow.
Grace: Okay, mummy. *sniff sniff*

[Grace is currently going through a skirt/dress obsession. Most mornings she will ask to wear a skirt. But it sometimes puts a bit of strain on the wardrobe and laundry…]
Grace: Mummy, can I wear skirt?
Mum: Sorry Grace, all your skirts are in the wash.
Grace: *Sad face* I can wear skirt tomorrow?
Mum: Yes. You can wear a skirt tomorrow.
Grace: Okay, mummy. *sniff sniff*

[Grace is also going through the “I do it myself!” stage. She is very independent. But unfortunately not all her fine motor are fully caught up with her independent spirit just yet...]
Mum: Okay, time to go. Please put on your shoes and get into the car, children.
Nathan: Grace, let me help you put on your shoes.
Grace: *Screeching* No! I do it! I wear my shoes BY MYSELF!
[Grace struggles to fasten the straps on her shoes before finally admitting defeat…]
Mum: Grace, let kor-kor help you. These shoes are a bit tricky.
Grace: *Teary-eyed and defeated voice* I wear my shoes tomorrow?
Mum: Yes. You can try again and wear your shoes tomorrow.
Grace: Okay, mummy. *sniff sniff*

[Five minutes later in the car…]
Nathan: Let me help buckle on your seatbelt, Grace.
Grace: *Screeching* No! I do it! I wear my seatbelt BY MYSELF!
Mum: Grace, you still need help with your seatbelt. You can buckle them on yourself when you are bigger.
[Grace bawls her eyes out while Nathan and I click on her seatbelt…]
Grace: *Crestfallen look on her teary face* I can wear seatbelt tomorrow?
Mum: Yes. You can wear your seatbelt yourself tomorrow--when you are bigger.
Grace: Okay, mummy. *sniff sniff*

[Nathan heading out the door for school…]
Nathan: Bye! I’m going to school now! See you later!
Mum: Bye Nathan! I love you!
Grace: Bye kor-kor! I miss you!
[Grace then turns to me and looks at me very seriously…]
Grace: Mummy, I go to school tomorrow.
Mum: You will go to school when you turn four.
Grace: Okay, mummy. When I am four. Tomorrow.

 

*****

The sun will come out tomorrow,
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow—
There'll be sun.

Just thinkin' about tomorrow—
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow,
'til there's none.

When I'm stuck with a day that's grey and lonely,
I just stick up my chin and grin and say, oh—

The sun will come out tomorrow,
So you gotta hang on—
'til tomorrow, come what may!

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya tomorrow,
You're only a day away!

-- From ‘Annie’ --

*****

P.S. A lovely modernised version of the classic song ‘Tomorrow’

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