Friday, September 6, 2013
Now that we have a walker, life has gotten a TON more complicated. It's funny because he looks to little to walk! I guess that's what happens when you're an over-achiever. Today Liam turns 11 months. Can you believe it? When I think to where I was last year; huge belly, buying new maternity clothing so I could cover said belly, waddling around like a momma duck... it all seems like it never happened. I see myself in pictures. Obviously I have a son to show for it. But I largely forget my pregnancy.
I hinted at this in my last blog post. How your brain forgets things because there's too much going on NOW, and it crowds out the other thoughts. Some call this "baby brain" and I largely agree! Like when you're standing there, trying to carry on an adult conversation and the word you want to say just isn't coming to you. And you stand there and you blabber like a fool until you finally just say, "I'm thinking the word I want is 'exhibitionist' but I'm really not sure..."
Liam has started walking and talking (he says the word 'keys,' among others. Who says 'keys' and not 'momma'???) and that means he's started to getting into trouble. As we all know, when our kids start to get into trouble, we as parents have to start disciplining.
Liam's a biter. If you're not giving him 100% of your attention, and he feels he NEEDS 100% of your attention? Bite. We've taken to pinching his cheeks and counting to three, stating, "No biting!" But most of the time he thinks it's funny, so it hasn't really worked.
The other night he pulled down a ceramic picture frame after we had told him and removed him from the area three times. Of course the frame smashed into many smaller pieces and is now unable to be salvaged. Andy raised his voice with him and we told him that what he did was bad. He put his little head down on the floor. My heart broke. It occurred to me at that moment that we make or break our children through discipline. Too much of it, and they become hard and callused. Too little of it and they become bratty and bold.
We tried to describe what we were doing while I was cleaning it up. "Mommy has to clean up this mess because Liam didn't listen and this broke." "See Daddy's face? It's sad because Liam didn't listen." I scooped him up and put him to bed early.
Andy immediately text me from downstairs. "I yelled at our son." I assured him it was okay, "I don't think you yelled at him. I think you used a stern voice." "But I got upset with him." "And we don't want a brat, so it's okay."
There's this line that you walk when you discipline an infant. You want the punishment to fit the crime, and they technically don't know what they're doing. So you have to describe to them why what they did was wrong and how you're feeling about it. Why don't we do that as adults?
"Honey, I am angry because you did not take the trash out. Do you see my face? My eyebrows are furrowed. I have a frowny face. Can you watch me take the trash out first thing in the morning, making me late for work? When we don't do what we're told, there are consequences. You will go to bed half an hour earlier tonight."
Oh, and there would NEVER be a text typed in a million YEARS, "I yelled at my wife. :( " "I raised my voice to my husband. :-/ " No way! We'd text, "Another fight." "He raised his voice with me again." So why is it so different with our kids?
Maybe it's because they're so tiny and vulnerable. Maybe it's because we are in the business of teaching our kids to behave, where with our spouses we feel they should already just KNOW. There really aren't any answers I can give here without the appropriate degree. I answer phones for a living, not solve people's problems.
Discipline is HARD but it's NECESSARY. I'm sure over the years there will be many more stories where this one came from.