Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Negotiations are over. So is being a mom to an infant




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!

4 comments:

Mary Gossman said...

being a mom is the hardest job you will ever do but it is also the most rewarding
believe it or not the older they get the harder it gets
that line in the sand tends to get crossed more and more
lots of love with lots of discipline builds character....yours and hers !!
hang on for the ride and you will be thrilled with the results

Happy Stones said...

Thank you Mary. My stomach has settled a bit...I think I am up for it! Didnt hurt that she was an angel for us last night!

Anonymous said...

Call grandma, Lily.

The Newell Family said...

I'v come to the realization that all milestones come with ups and downs. You have something I don't have (but, I am trying) PATIENCE! You've at least got that on your side! :-) Evan (3.5) calls me "a big dummy" in the most hated way a 3-year old knows how. Why does he call me this? Because I want to wash his hair! He whines and cries so badly if I don't feed him chocolate, popsicles or just a big bowl of sugar for breakfast (some days, I am rewarded with a toast or pancake request). He also will NOT sleep in his bed. By 3am every night, he's in our bed and will cry until we give in....Okay, that's just 3 little things! :-) I'd get a C in discipline from "nanny 911" and Scott would receive an F! But, we do what we do and how we think it works best for us, our home and our family. All kids are unique...they go through wierd things, fun things, sweet things, mean things and crazy things, but we, as mothers have to be strong for them no matter what stage they are in. We must seem so stable to them! All in all, they call for us when they need something. I think they are like dogs (and I know you can relate). A master, even when diciplining never does wrong. Maybe they forget the bad stuff and always remember the good, loving parts of the motherhood responsibilities we so much enjoy!?! I only assume this to age 3 and a 1/2. That smile, kiss, hug or something special they made for us is the "real" child we created. All the negative is just the way a baby handles life...Tomorrow is a new day, my friend. It's an all new day! Keep smiling, M! Your doing a phenomenal job!!!

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