As I finished changing Jet’s diaper and started to replace her pants, she screwed up her face, twisted on the bed, and wailed, “NO, I do it myself!”
I stopped what I was doing and looked at her in surprise. “What can you do by yourself?”
She stopped struggling. “Put on pants! I do it!” she informed me.
She seemed quite sure, so I said, “Okay, you do it.” She really tried.
Had she been wearing almost any of her other pants, I think she would have managed it. But the pants of the day were pink cotton shorts. She inserted both legs and I helped her to stand on the bed to pull them up. As luck would have it, she pulled on the bottom of the pant leg rather than the waistband. The leg was neither wide enough nor long enough to be pulled over her diaper. Jet tugged harder.
“Do you want help?”
“NO! I do it! I do it!”
“Okay…” I continued to watch and guard against tumbling off the bed. Her frustration mounted. She made various noises to indicate her great expenditure of effort.
“These are hard pants to pull up, are you sure you don’t want me to help just a little?”
She sat down, and looked at me sadly. “Grandma do it.”
I laid her back on the bed, untwisted the leg and moved them up, almost to her waist. “Now try it.” She didn’t move. “Go ahead, you can do it now, I think.” I stood her up.
Jet pulled. The pants came up. She laughed. The door to autonomy opened just a bit wider. The pants were on backward, but they were on.
She didn’t want any help with her hat today, either. She put it on all by herself, deliberately preferring the brim in the rear. If I blink my eyes, she will want to borrow the car.