Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Layin Down the Law

I always pictured myself as being a pretty strict parent. Even when I was a teenager, I knew that certain things would be important to me when it came time to raise my own child.

And even though Niall is a little young to start thinking about this stuff, the not-so-sweet alter ego is starting to peek its way through those innocent, sparkling blue eyes. A lot of hitting, kicking, scratching and... self mutilation.

Yes, I'm talking about glaring me in the eye, putting his finger in his mouth, biting down on it and trying to pull it out while his teeth are clamped down. As if he were punishing me in some way. No skin off my back, kid ;)

I'm surprisingly patient when it comes to a lot of this curious toddler stuff. When he scoops up a big wad of cottage cheese and flings it at me, I say "he needs to explore his food" and when he incessantly clings to my leg, crying every night at 5pm, I say "it's just the bewitching hour."

I don't expect him to understand all of the commands I want to give him, like "Take a deep breath- you'll scare all the other kids if you bulge your eyes out of your sockets like that" or "If you don't stay still during diaper change, you're going to walk around with poop all over your legs!"

But can't I expect him to understand a some of it at this age? He's going to be 14 months next week and I'm starting to think I might be giving him a little too much benefit of the doubt.

So here's my question for moms of 2+ year olds: How much do you let them get away with? When do you step in and say "Ok, he may be young, but he knows exactly what he's doing."

This whole conversation came up because Matt and I were talking about how we let him run around in the back of church every week- which I think is totally fine and appropriate at his age... but what happens when you've been letting him do this for 2-3 years and all of a sudden say "Ok, it's time to sit still and quiet in the pew."?  And really, how am I supposed to say no to this face??

another blurry photo :(


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1 comment:

  1. right there with ya! levi is throwing some epic tantrums lately! last week in particular was a doozy. it's easy to have all these ideas about discipline before you have kids... and then, you become a mom and are responsible for someone else's life. yikes. help me God!

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