Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Teaching Your Toddler Cause and Effect

It comes to my attention this morning that I am probably a very bad blogger, among other things.

("Bad blogger!  BAD!")

I look at other people's blogs and they usually have some sort of theme, or a very concise subject matter that they deal with, and they tend to write something just about every day.

I do none of those things.  ("BAD!")

No, I think MY blog has more the feel of an ADD child, twirling around in their front yard and screaming into the wind about how they aren't allowed to have another glass of chocolate milk until bedtime.  And then they turn into Superman, and attempt to 'fly' off the roof.  AND they only do it (roughly) once a week. 

Because they are just far too distractible to turn out a post any more frequently than that.

(Even as I type this, I have a rather chunky --- we like to call him 'sturdy' --- baby boy squirming around in my lap, slapping at my nose and trying to escape into the den with a hard-won chunk of my hair.)

But I'm not going to lie and say that my busy life simply won't ALLOW ME to post more often than I do.


The truth is that I have SCADS of time (that's a phrase directly from my Granny's mouth --- pretty sure a 'scad' is an ancient unit of measurement.  Perfectly acceptable.  . . .Probably had something to do with the fall harvest, when folks would bring in three full scads of apples, and then the whole town would have pie.  . . .I need to make a pie).

My point is that my life is moving along at a relaxed and leisurely pace, much like the Lazy River at your favorite water park.  (But with less urine.  . . .Well. . .okay.  We have two cats, a 6 year-old, and a toddler, so, to be fair, there is probably the same amount of urine.  But you get the idea.)

The truth is that, aside from waiting for the weather to warm up so that I can take daily walks around the neighborhood with Took, and ASIDE from the brand-spanking new yoga mat that I have (so far) never even unrolled (and that sparks a stab of guilt in me every time I see it), I am perfectly happy with the little life that I have hammered out here in scenic McCalla Alabama.

I'm painting more frequently, and am actually starting to feel like maybe I've turned a corner with that (fingers crossed).  I've been trying my hand at making clay figurines. . . mostly faeries so far, but I anticipate a day where I build up an entire collection of faeries, wizards, gnomes, and other storybook characters.  (I want a White Rabbit to go in our garden.  Wearing a little waistcoat with pockets.  And he'd have to have some sort of glaze, so that he could survive the elements.  . . . THIS is the kind of ridiculous thing that drives me.  No small amount of pride in THAT.  =)

And, just a day or two ago, Michael came up with the BRILLIANT idea that maybe I should paint a mural of some sort on one wall of our backyard fence.  So obviously my brain has been just ALL ABOUT IT, and I have several different ideas of what I want to do.  Naturally, a scene showing Bag End, possibly with Gandalf's cart rolling off into the distance and an Ent here or there, is going to feature PROMINENTLY.

Exciting times.  =D

But all these things are no excuse to stop writing. 

I LOVE writing. 

And I will never stop.

And so I trudge onward, cataloging the daily minutiae of my life.

Soooo. . .what's going on around this place?

Well, for the last couple weeks, the news around here has been SICKNESS.

OH!!  We have had the sicknesses.  A veritable family of runny noses, chest congestion, and snot.  Those gross little mucus-people from the Mucinex commercial have been vacationing here for the better part of a month.


The worst part, by far, has been watching the baby struggle through it.  But he is on the mend, and, though it was TOUGH watching him sniffle and fuss, I feel like he's finally starting to come out of it.

So yay!

We are, however, having slight issues with the toddler-in-question.

Those issues would consist of the fact that he currently believes it is just HYSTERICAL to walk up to someone and smack them in the face with his tiny, and yet somehow still quite fat, hand.  (With me, it usually ends up being right in my eye.  Unpleasant.)  Also, he has only just discovered my hair, and really seems to enjoy trying to pull it all out.  He'll come away with several long strands stuck between his fingers, and he seems to find this a most delightful state.

Alas, my hair is much like a beautiful flower in a national forest --- Take only pictures, leave only memories, bitch.  

But Took seems to require a bouquet of mommy-hair, which is an art-form that I just can't respect.

Honestly, I have been at a loss as to how to deal with this new irritation.  I was kind of hoping that he would just grow bored with it, and move on to something else.

But that has not happened.

And so, I came to realize that ACTION MUST BE TAKEN.

But he IS only 1 1/2. . . I don't believe spanking a child is always the answer, especially one that young.  I had already tried taking his hand in mine when he did it, and repeating 'No!', and trying my best to look very out-done.  (Not that hard to do, as it turns out.)  I even tried putting him in time-out, but again, he is really too young for it to be very effective.

So. . . what now?

I considered the situation for a while, trying to decide the best way to approach it.

Came up with nothing.

And so, the next time my sweet little angel grabbed a handful of my hair and tried quite earnestly to remove it from my head, I was running on instinct and pure adrenaline.

And, after saying 'No!' a couple times and he STILL didn't release it. . . I grabbed a handful of his beautiful little curls. . . and yanked.


Tears.  Betrayal.  HURT FEELINGS!!!

Still, he did NOT let go of my hair.  Actually, he was still tugging rather viciously on a good-sized clump.

And so I tugged, as well.

And we stood like that in the living room, staring each other down, holding tight to a clump of the other one's hair, for several long moments.

He SLO-O-OWLY let go of my hair.

I slowly let go of his.

He reached his hand back up and YANKED.

I did, too.

More tears.

One more good yank each.

Then all hair was let go, and we collapsed onto the floor for conciliatory snuggles.

Now, before you even SAY IT, I'm SUUUURE there are MANY parents out there that might've handled this situation differently.

There are probably SCADS of parents out there that would be SO MUCH BETTER than sinking to a toddler's level, and playing a petty little game of tit-for-tat.

But I would like to remind you, politely, that there are ALSO tons of parents out there that seem to be under the impression that their children can do no wrong.

There are FAR TOO MANY parents out there that are either not interested in their children's lives, or that are simply trying so hard to be their child's 'friend' that they have completely lost all credibility as a 'parent.'

These people are idiots, and so I am inclined to ignore them.  (Go do your idiot-things, and leave me alone.  That's not too much to ask, right?)

I ADORE my child.  I had him a little late in life (comparatively), and I tend to think that he is the most precious being on this planet.  I think he is adorable, I think he is brilliant, and I think his personality is just aces.

Also, his sense of humor is incredible.

He gets praised, religiously, for helping me with the dishes, or the clothes, or cleaning, or any other random way he might be showing an effort.

He gets applauded (*literally*) when he dances, or shows an interest in something, or tries something new.

We spend our days together, we talk, we play, we have just started making music with the harmonica, and we generally  have a grand old time.

What I'm saying here is:  A.)  I ENJOY my kid.  He gets tons of time and attention, and his sweet little presence in my life is just the bee's knees.  And B.)  Because of all this attention, and positive reinforcement, I have serious concerns that his self-confidence is just going to be DANGEROUSLY high.

(He already seems to think he is a god among children.  We've tried beating him with various items, but so far it's proving to be a confidence that you just can't smack away. Unfortunate.)

But with all that being said, PLEASE note that NOWHERE in there did I even HINT at the notion that this kid is infallible.

He pulls hair.  He slaps the cat.  He will play in the toilet, if given the chance, and he is NOT above performing a complete COME-APART TANTRUM if he is not plied with what he considers to be the 'proper' amounts of juice.

I want him to be happy.  I want him to be well-adjusted. 

I do NOT want him to meet new people and come away with a handful of their hair.

And so I have (just now) resigned myself to the fact that, just perhaps, other mothers are going to look down on me.  Perhaps they will judge me for pulling my child's hair, even if it WAS to teach him that pulling hair HURTS (how ELSE was he supposed to know?) and we should NOT do it.

. . .At some point in the past, this probably would've bothered me.  This perception that maybe others were looking down on me, and then the thought would probably creep in my head that Perhaps I am doing something wrong. . .

And I honestly DON'T KNOW when it happened, but this morning I realize that Yeah.  Maybe other mommies are going to judge me.

And I simply do not give a rat's ass.

Because I know LOTS of kids.

And for every well-behaved child that is obviously being given love and attention, and that is obviously being taught manners, and how to act in society. . . there are at LEAST one or two kids that are just complete terrors.

For every kid that is curious, and well-adjusted, and kind to animals. . . there is at least one kid that just hasn't been taught anything, that has NEVER been corrected, and that is walking around talking about SWAG and setting the neighborhood cats on fire.

So spare me.

I'm old enough to know what I want, and what I don't want, for my child.

My ways probably AREN'T your ways.

I have a lot of opinions that. . . stray from the norm.

And I'm cool with that.


I did it, I don't regret it, and I'll do it again if necessary.

So look down on me all you want.

MY baby learned a little lesson about cause and effect that day.  (KNOWLEDGE!!)

Meanwhile, YOUR precious little angel is smart-mouthing adults and acting more entitled than Donald Trump on his birthday.

(. . .Have you tried pulling his hair?)

Because, not to say I told you so or anything, but. . . in MY house. . . the hair-pulling has STOPPED.


No comments:

Post a Comment