Sunday, March 6, 2011

A New 'the Hardest Thing to Do' (as a new mama)

It just doesn't seem right to have to discipline your baby at one years of age.

Since you've been crawling, you're touring around the house, exploring, learning, experiencing a broader world. I am so happy for you that you're at this stage in your life. There are so many things for you to see, do, learn and experience!

Along with that comes things that mama and papa don't want you getting into- for your own safety; like the garbage cans. Those are icky. And the pets' drinking water. I know you love water, and I can't fault you for that--your daddy and mommy love water just as much as you. Their water isn't for playing in. And there's the bath tub. Lately you've taken to trying to get onto your knees inside your little infant tub, and it isn't safe. When mama tells you to stay on your bum, I mean it.

Discipline is the yucky--but necessary--part of parenthood. And, baby, don't doubt that mama and daddy don't love you. We do. We're just looking out for your own wellbeing. When mama gets down on her hands and knees so she can look you in the eye, and slaps your hand, it breaks my heart to do so. I know your crying means I've gotten my point across, but it hurts me to even have to do it.

I don't know if its wrong to pull you into my arms and kiss you shortly after I have to 'punish' you; it makes me feel better, though. I try hard to positively reinforce your actions when you do something--play with something-- that is not off limits. I hope that comes across more loudly than the disciplinary kind...

The same goes for your sister when she finishes her lunch and supper. It makes mama so happy that her appetite is improving (thanks to a happier tummy), and when she starts shaking her head no, she doesn't want anymore, and when she swats my hand away from her mouth, I pull her hand down and patiently wait for her to open her mouth. When that doesn't work, I turn to bribery. (I know, it sounds bad, but I don't think it is. If she finishes the food she doesn't want to eat, she'll get the food she does want to eat--the good stuff!!)

And, when she does finish everything on her plate, mama claps her hands and says 'yayyy!', then I clap her hands together. I can tell by the smile on her face that it makes her feel good--she likes it--and I hope its enough encouragement to keep eating as well as she has been--and continue improving on that with each passing day, too!

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