PHOTOS: Lily calling for backup!
Negotiations have ceased at the happy stone house, considering Lily is rounding the corner and heading straight for toddlerdom. I have been told by many mothers that this 17-month milestone comes with great joy and great challenges. I am ecstatic about her growing vocabulary, the frequency of hugs, kisses and snuggles, and growing self esteem as she learns more and more and more. However, with that growing vocabulary comes "no" and "stop it" and "mine". Along with the hugs and kisses comes shoving and hitting. And self esteem turns to boundary-testing as she closes in on and crosses almost every line in the sand. Just to see what happens.
My heart is so torn between pride and dread! And last night was tough. The afternoon started with a bite report from school. I was bumbed, disappointed and down right mad at Lily. How could she do this? From school we headed home where she chose to break several rules -- don't throw your cup, don't hit your dad, don't drink the bathwater. All met with stern consequences.
This is where the negotiation part comes in. We have been giving her three warnings. Now we are down to one - and then "time out". She hates it. Cries for momma and papa the whole time. Tears me apart. Or like in the bathtub, her toys were taken away because she continued to drink the bathwater. Toys gone. Baby crying. Mom aching inside.
The hardest part of discipline is watching your children make bad choices and then having to dole out the consequence. Don't get me wrong, I am not a softie when it comes to discipline. I believe it is absolutely necessary to teach children right from wrong, and hold them accountable. But I had no idea it would be this hard.
I was wide awake until 3 a.m. feeling like a ball of nerves. I just wanted to go in her room, scoop her up and rock us both to sleep. Part of my reaction is no doubt a mourning for her as a baby. I miss baby Lily so much.
Just when I had that figured out, here comes the next phase. I guess I have to get my arms around this, know my role and do the best I can. Match discipline with love and praise. Stay consistent. Be firm and respectful. And, remind myself that I am doing a good job.
I wish this part of motherhood was negotiable!