“Isn’t she lovely”
Anyone who knows my child will tell you that she is incredibly independent, headstrong and she does not miss a trick! They will also tell you how beautiful and sassy she is. We’ve been stopped in the street by strangers since she was a newborn commenting on how gorgeous her hair is! While part of me beams with pride at this I’m also well aware that this little girl knows people think she is cute and she plays up to it.
And I won’t have that.
I don’t want her to believe that you should get anywhere in this world just based on how you look. I don’t want her to believe that she doesn’t have to be kind or generous or brave because people tell her she is pretty and that’s enough. I would rather her be a beautiful person who is lovely to be around and that she is kind-hearted.
So here we are for the forth time today having a time out.
I say WE because the whole process is as frustrating for me as it seems to be for her. I know that consistency is what she needs. I know its only two minutes at a time. I know that in the long run this will help her to understand that there are consequences to her actions. At least I hope that it will because right now she thinks punching mummy in the face is hilarious and “NO” is one of her favourite words.
Where did this come from!?
Well I know the answer I just don’t like to admit it.
When I was pregnant we went to NCT classes. I met some of the most wonderful women in that class who I all consider to be good friends and remain a network of support for all the development milestones and for every time I think I must be losing my mind.
It was during one of these classes we were asked what we hoped for our child. I remember saying that I wish our baby would be healthy, happy & also that they would have my husband’s temperament. I was hoping they would have his patience, relaxed attitude and kindness.
Who was I kidding!?
She is me.
My husband would argue this isn’t a bad thing. She has my streak of independence, she does not stop talking (though we can’t actually understand most of what she say’s yet) but ultimately she has my temper. And this is where we are currently having problems.
The level of frustration she is displaying at the minute is next level. She’s annoyed that I don’t understand every word of her constant babble. She want’s to do EVERYTHING by herself. She thinks she is the boss.
I hit a wall the other week when I got caught in the crosshairs of a particularly tricky temper tantrum. She pushed all of my buttons that day. I was so cross and upset with her behaviour and ultimately I felt guilty because I felt like I was responsible for her actions and I wasn’t dealing with it as well as I should.
“Freaking out on your child for freaking out is as hypocritical as it is ineffective. Slow down. Breathe, then act like the adult you want them to become.” – L.R.Knost
Reading this quote really made me think about my reactions to my daughters actions. She is still learning. She is testing her boundaries. I should know better.
“She’s not even two yet!”
The delighted expression my wonderful great aunt used to describe my actions during my first trip to Canada when I was 22 months old.
Over the last 30 years this phrase has been lovingly bandied around our family whenever one of us does something impressive. “Oh look at her…. and she’s not even two yet!”
And now we use it to describe my daughter. She’s 22 months old now and although I expected a bit of trouble when we got to the terrible twos I didn’t expect it this early and I didn’t expect it with such force!
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced since becoming a mum has been my constant inner battle between teaching her right from wrong, being strict enough to ensure she turns into a nice human being and remembering that she’s still so young and she is allowed to make mistakes and I don’t need to be so hard on her all the time.
I don’t always get it right – in fact most of the time I feel like i’m doing it all wrong!
I’ve finally come to the realisation that a lot of my decisions along the way will be wrong but as long as my intentions are always good and she knows that I love her more than anything else in this world we’ll both be ok.