Some of you may remember a post that I made about 5 months ago Stop Saying “Stop”. Well I’m here to tell you that it has been a success! Yes my son is learning more and more every day, my patience is getting better, and he is acting out less and less… But I didn’t stop saying “stop”.
The challenge was going well at first. Instead of saying “stop it” I was saying “why don’t you do this” instead. I diverted his attention to other things and before you know it, the madness was over. Well, it was over for a moment. Then he was right back to getting into things he wasn’t supposed to do.
All of March I was so patient, but my nerves were wearing down. I didn’t scream at him at all. I didn’t raise my voice. When I asked for him to do something, it was sweet– straight forward– but soft. I wanted to just scream, “STOP IT!” But I reminded myself of the challenge and trudged on. Then I noticed a trend. I could see the wheels in his head turning. I could read his little munchkin mind.
I’m getting away with this. How much more can I do?
The little monster was playing me! Ooooo he just got under my skin until finally I couldn’t take it any more. I had “diverted” his attention EIGHT TIMES from the DVD player. Time out didn’t work. It just made him even sneakier because he thought it was a game. I had had enough. A son-mother relationship has to have respect both ways. But babies don’t understand what respect is. You have to teach them.
So as he pushed the DVD buttons over and over again for the ninth time in less than half an hour, I stood up, put my hands on my hip, pointed my “Mother Knows All” finger at him and barked in the sternest voice I could muster after a month of soft, sweet talking:
Kalel XZavier Bostic! If you don’t leave that alone, you will get a swift smack on the leg and you will go in your playpen for the rest of the evening!
He… was… speechless. It was like the movies, when someone just stops in mid action and stares. He slowly put his hands on his lap, looked down at the floor, and…
Yep. I was miserable. I felt so bad. I had made my baby cry! He was just trying to play. But I knew it was the right thing to do. He needed to learn that what Mommy says, goes. There is a reason why Mommy tells him not to do things. My son needs to learn to trust me, to listen to me, and to respect me. Why? For his protection. If he didn’t listen about the DVD player, what else wouldn’t he listen about? The endless list is terrifying.
Needless to say, he got lots of lovin’s that day and didn’t cause any more trouble for the rest of the evening.
So what has happened between late March to late July?
We have been learning together. I have learned to control my temper, and so has he. I have learned to teach him right from wrong without yelling all the time, and he has been learning those little life lessons like you can’t pick up the kitty by the tail. We are learning to trust each other, listen to each other, smile with each other when things get frustrating. He screams because it’s bed time, so I let him read ME a story. He gets frustrated because I don’t know what “ndadeat” means, so I talk to him patiently until I realize that he’s asking “(Where is) “n” Daddy At?” So many smiles, so much hair pulling, and so much kissing! Every second… SO WORTH IT!
Mamas, never forget: Life is so sweet with a munchkin around. Give them some sugar in return!