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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Follow up to Discipline


Here is a follow up to my last post “Discipline”.  A few nights ago Angel was in the bathtub, I usually let her play while I clean up the kitchen.  I heard her in the tub blowing bubbles like a motor boat and said, “Angel don’t drink that water”.   A few minutes went by and I walked into the bathroom and she quickly stood up cheeks bulging, filled with water.  She looked at me and carefully thought what to do since she had been caught.  So she pressed her lips together and shot the water out of her mouth.  She looked like a fountain with blue water (yes it was blue this time) coming out of her mouth forming a perfect arch.  As soon as all of the water was out she looked at me and said. “Hi Mommy”.  It took everything I had not to bust out laughing and grab her up and kiss her for being so cute.  Point for her!  I have to give her kudos for playing the cute card thinking that it would keep her out of trouble.  Which it kind of did.

So the score card reads Mommy 1 Angel 1, and the game continues…………..

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Discipline

One of my readers recently asked me to write about discipline.  I thought that was a good topic so here goes.  Let me preface this by saying that I am not an expert on child discipline (nor do I play one on television), and I think everyone has their own disciplining styles.  Now that Angel is 2 I have faced many challenges in disciplining her.  At this age children are learning boundaries and testing limits.  For instance I previously wrote about how she likes to drink bathtub water.  This not only grosses me out it became a contest to see who would win between she and I.  Guess who won?  The night started out like any other, she was in the bathtub playing with her toys.  She has a cup she likes to play with and uses it by pouring water on herself.  No harm right?  Wrong!  I would repeatedly catch her with the cup to her mouth.  I told her once in my friendly mommy voice, “Angel don’t drink the water”.  She would smile her sweet smile and pour it on her belly.  A few seconds later the cup was back at her mouth.  Me in a more stern voice, “Angel if you drink the water I am going to take the cup away.”  Again she pours the water out.  Of course she couldn’t resist the temptation of the pink water (it is pink because she likes the Crayola fizzy color tabs) and the cup ended back at her mouth.  I walked over and took the cup away, looked at her and said in a very calm voice, “I asked you not to drink the water and you disobeyed so I am going to take the cup away.”  1 point for Mommy.  She sits down and continues to play.  She then picks up her orange dinosaur toy fills it with water looks right at me, smiles, and proceeds to drink the water.  I am starting to get a little aggravated, but I remain calm, walk over to the tub and take the orange dinosaur as well as any other toy she could fill up with water.  I said to her again, “Angel Mommy asked you not to drink the water”.  She sat down and I began bathing her.  I stood up to get her shampoo and in that split second she turns her head (she is laying down) to the side and drinks the water!!!!!  No I am not kidding.  I don’t say anything; I just let the water out until it is only about an inch deep so she can’t drink the water out of the side of her mouth.  Mommy WINS or so I thought!!!!  I wash her hair and use the cup to rinse her off.  I stand up to get the towel and she rolls onto her belly and, you guessed it, begins to drink the water.  At this point I am very frustrated and know that if I give in I will lose this contest.  So I drain all of the water out of the tub, finished rinsing her off, and get her out.  I look at her and tell her she has disobeyed and will not have any of her toys in the tub for a few days.  For the next few nights she didn’t have any toys and the water remained very shallow.  I would not walk away from her and any time I saw her even attempt to drink the water I would say sternly, “Don’t drink the water”.  I have said this so much that she now tells her doll, “Don’t drink the water”.  Which is quite funny, but I don’t laugh, I just say, “That’s right we don’t drink the water”.  

When it comes to disciplining our children these are the things that have worked for me (keep in mind I have a 2 year old.  I am sure this will all change once she is a tween and later becomes a teenager). 
Stay calm - Children can sense your anger and or frustration, and when you get out of control it makes them think they can too.  By keeping your voice calm and collected you are the one that remains in control.

Be consistent! – If it is no today, then it is no tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.  I have seen parents that will say no and then give in after the child whines, begs, and keeps on.  By giving in you are telling them that if you bother me enough eventually I will let you have what you want.

Follow through – When I tell Angel to pick up her toys and she doesn’t I will tell her twice more, my voice becoming sterner each time.  Then I will go make her stop what she is doing and pick up her toys.  If she doesn’t do it herself then I will hold her hands and make her pick them up.  Again consistency.

Look them in the eyes – Just like in most things in life people take you more seriously when you look at them in the eyes.  Children are no different.

Love them – When Angel goes to time out and her time is up, I kneel down to her level, look her in the eyes and say, “You hit Mommy and we don’t hit, this is why you were put in time out.”  I ask her to apologize then tell her I love her.  

All in all I have learned to pick my battles and not sweat the small stuff; children are children and will get into things, make messes, and test your patience.  That being said they are still the sweetest thing on earth….. until they tell you to shut up.

Here are a few books that I have read that have helped me.

 The Strong Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson

To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday


Angel and my birthday has come and gone.  She turned 2 and I turned 27……again.  I can say she is the best birthday present I have ever gotten and will ever receive, that she is the most precious thing to me, but if you have been reading my blog for any length of time this will all be redundant.  I am sure every year I will marvel at the love I have for her and how she is the most perfect gift from God.  Instead of going on and on with all of that sappiness I will write about the reflection I’ve had during this time.  The age of 1 to 2 is fun.  When they are babies they do all the “first” things which are memorable because it is the first time they have ever walked, said Momma, and spit out green peas.  As children move through their first year on to their second they begin showing their personality and discovering the world around them.  Small things like looking for worms on a Saturday morning walk become an absolute adventure.  They being talking, and the way they say words makes you want to eat them because they are so sweet and amusing.  They also learn the word “no” and love to repeat it to you when you tell them not to do something.  Angel has recently put her dolls in time out and told them to, “not get up”.  She also likes taking them to the potty; 2 dolls and a teddy bear have almost drowned in the toilet.  This past year I have heard the sweetest words I have ever heard which were, “I love you Mommy”.  Angel moved from a crib to a big girl bed after becoming the crib escape artist.  I have realized that I refer to myself in the third person all the time now.  “Mommy is going to work”, “Mommy loves you”, “Don’t hit Mommy”.  Angel has shown her intelligence buy knowing the alphabet at 17 months, counting to 20 (to 10 in English and French), recognizing shapes and colors.  I think she is the smartest kid ever but most parents think that about their kids (not sure my mom thought that about me:). She also is establishing her spirituality by praying before all of her meals and before she goes to bed.  A typical prayer goes something like this, I recite “Now I lay me down to sleep……….. God bless Lucy” then she begins to list who all she would like God to bless.  It is funny who all she mentions; Nana, Gigi (my sister), Roo Roo (her husband), Santa Clause (got to keep him in good graces), the bear, Nanny Vic Vic, who else (she started adding who else and anyone else after I would ask her if there was anyone else she would like to pray for.  I think she thinks these are actual people?), and Mommy.  It is funny who all is included each night and how the list changes.  This year was awesome I have captured many things in my journal and in my head hoping never to forget them.

This birthday party was much more interactive than last year.  Angel actually blew out the candle all by herself and tore through presents like a pro!  Since our birthdays were close to Easter I went with an Easter theme and made a giant Easter egg as the cake, topped off with vibrant colored Peeps.  She had a blast, and I know this because she went to bed early and did not move once I laid her down.  Since we do share the same birthday mine becomes an afterthought but that’s okay because she is more important than me.  Besides I had someone make my birthday very special (more on that in the future ;).  

In all of this reflection I look back on the past two and a half years of my life and recognize where I was emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  I have been through so much these years and this time has made me realize what is truly important and forced me to grow up.  In all that I have been through I can say this was all part of God’s perfect plan for me.  Instead of wallowing in self-pity I relish in God’s love.  Angel was always in God’s plan for me.  I never thought I wanted to be a mother and if I would have done things my way I wouldn’t be, but God knew I had never experienced true unconditional love and that I would be an excellent mother.  You can’t see it when you’re in it, but God always comes through. 

Happy Birthday to my sweet precious Angel.  You will hear this a thousand times, but you are the best gift I ever received.  I love you so much and look forward to another fantastic year!