At Dinner Tonight

Kate’s asking permission for things that she shouldn’t need to ask continued at dinner tonight. When we were about halfway through our meal, she asked me (with hand signals as she often does) if she could drink her iced tea. Up to this point, she had already drunk about a quarter of the amount in her glass. I asked why she was asking me. Then I said, “You don’t have to ask me to drink your tea.” She said, “I thought so. I just wanted to make sure.” Before we had finished eating, she asked me the same question two other times.

She had salmon tonight. When she had eaten about half of it, she asked if she could eat it. I said, “Yes, you can eat it. You don’t even need to ask.” Once again, she told me she “just wanted to make sure.” Nothing in the tone of her voice or the expression on her face suggested kidding me or acting as though I am a tyrant, but it does make me feel uncomfortable when she does this. It also makes me want to be more careful about those things for which I correct her. I may be overdoing it. On the other hand, it may simply be a sign that she doesn’t know what to do and appeals to me to help her. I hope it is the latter even though it saddens me to acknowledge that possibility. I don’t like to see her growing dependence. I prefer it when she seems to fight for her independence. These days that happens most often when I offer my hand as she steps off a curb. At night, she is almost always glad to accept.

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