Thursday, April 2, 2009
There comes a time when you have to do more than just bathe, feed, and cuddle your baby. You actually have to parent. Seriously, you actually have to be a parent! For me it has been a slow process of small realizations every time Stella reaches a new milestone. The day she started to crawl was the first time I really went “ok, its probably going to get interesting here”. You get a little taste of parenting when your baby becomes mobile because you are constantly following them around to make sure they aren’t getting into something dangerous or really messy. Then they start walking and man do they get busy! How does such a little person move so fast? One second Stella is playing with her toys in the living room and the next she is running down the hall with a bottle of nail polish. It’s all giggles for her too, especially when you are trying to take something she isn‘t supposed to have. It is one of Stella’s favorite games really; she grabs a black Sharpie and laughs while mommy chases her to get it. It doesn’t end well for her though because mommy usually wins. At this point there is a bit of screaming. It’s raspy and cute and it makes me laugh but here is where the parenting comes in. I can’t just grab things from her all day or we are going to have a day full of the raspy screaming which is only funny in small doses. Ideally the first choice would be to make her environment as kid friendly as possible. The best way to handle these conflicts is to avoid them all together, but we all know this is not always possible. Another choice is to distract the mischievous one with another toy or something else that might interest them. This way you are not always having to say “no”, which gets pretty old. “Mommy said no, mommy said no”, I annoy myself saying that all the time. Unfortunately we do have to say “no” sometimes because that is what they understand. You can’t give lengthy explanations on how you will get electrocuted from playing with plugs and sockets, you’ll just get a blank stare. What I’m learning is to find a happy medium. I try to make a nice, safe place for Stella to play and when she finds some trouble I direct her to something that will keep her busy and of course there is the unavoidable “mommy said no”. With a combination of these parenting techniques hopefully we can have a tantrum free day, or at least keep them to a minimum.