Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Fatigue is the best pillow ~Benjamin Franklin
How true, how true.
Such a horrible mother I am at times. Particularly times when I need to go go quickly up and down the stairs-and I can't have a little Panda following my every step. Only yesterday did we buy one of those jail-like stair contraptions to keep the Panda from killing himself on our stairs. Up until that point, he had to stay in the playpen, much to our detriment (or more often, we just gambled with fate). One day, after crying himself to sleep, I found him this way. So dear.
Our little guy has a TEMPER (not JUST with a capital T but with ALL caps!) and I laugh in spite of myself. If ever there was a challenging child-this is he. He is so sweet and so cuddly and so darling most of the time-but don't get on his bad side and GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS-or else.
And then I say, "or else WHAT, my darling? BRING IT ON!"
I refuse to give up authority to a nine month old-because if you do, you will then lose authority with a 2 year old, then five year old, and by the time that sweet babe is a seventeen year old, all respect will be lost. And whatever parent claims that a nine month old is too young to 'understand' discipline has either been outwitted by them or their children are exceptionally dim. I have not been so lucky, for sure. SO-these days I have been buckling down and challenging my dear boy to a competition of wit and endurance.
Andrew began screaming this high pitched, ear-ringing, hair-pulling, eye-popping scream a few months back when he discovered his voice. Of course, I let him experiment with it a bit, but now is the time to nip this in the bud so I began flicking his cheek when he did it and saying "No" with my 'firm face' on. Well that little stinkpot would wait until I was on the phone, scream his scream and then turn around to find me and see what I was going to do about it! Literally, turn himself in his chair and wait to see what would happen! Don't tell me he doesn't know what he is doing!
If he wants food, he will scream and scream (the SAME hair pulling, eye popping scream, mind you). And for some reason, his scream sounds like the poor kid is on fire. I think he may be as dramatic as his sister (if that is possible!). He was hungry so I put him in his chair. Still, he screamed. I gave him a graham cracker and.....stop. Giggle. Gurgle. Goo.
Most Recent Head to Head:
That pesky playpen again... I want him to learn to sit in it for a little bit at a time to stay contained (for a shower, a vacuum, etc.) I have never been a big playpen person but I can see the good in a bit of time to himself here and there. ANYWAY. Christmas decorations were being put away and so I was preoccupied and didn't want my glass ornaments to be trampled by the little pudge Panda so in the playpen he went. The Christmas tree was in the same room as the living room so you would have thought...hey, it wouldn't be so bad, I am right there! Nope. In fact, knowing that his cries were having no positive outcome only made him MORE angry. His cries MORE voracious, his face MORE red, and his outbursts more convincing.
I admit-he ALMOST won that one. But I knew-if I got him OUT of the playpen when he was crying, he would associate his crying with being picked up and think that he had won (and thus, only cry LOUDER the next time, by expecting the same outcome!)
I knew there was only ONE thing to do. I had to wait until he stopped crying to get him out. But since that WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN I knew that in order to win, I had to sacrifice myself. SO....I took a DEEP breath, grabbed a book, and plopped down right next to the playpen. He wailed. I pretended to read and go to a 'happy place' while the wailing penetrated my eardrum. He wailed louder. I started humming to block out the wailing, he came to the edge and stood up-now literally piercing my ears. Happy face. Happy thoughts. Smiles. A beach with soft golden sand. Snorkeling in clear blue water. Ahhhhhhh.
And then...giggle gurgle goo. I looked at him and he put his frown back on. giggle gurgle goo. I KNEW I had heard it! I looked at him again and started smiling and talking. And his frown literally, before my eyes, turned upside down. We sat together, on either sides of the mesh for about five minutes and then I got him out. Praised him, hugged him, cuddled him and thanked the LORD that it was over.
I love my Panda. I really do. More than anything. But I will say this-if he turns out to be a kind, respectful and selfless person like I hope he does- I have a hard row to hoe! But at least people can't say to me as they have in the past, "Oh-you just got an 'easy one' this time around...wait until you get a 'hard' one!"
Lord, give me strength!