Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Terrific Twos

Another short but sweet thought.  

You hear about the terrible twos every time you turn around, but does anyone else think of them as the terrific twos?  Are we the only ones?  I'm not saying we don't have stand-offs, days with lots of limit testing, and times of strict discipline, but we also get to actually play together (versus me entertaining), we laugh, we hug each other, we share jokes, and go on adventures.  

My husband and I are soooo not baby people and are so much happier with Ari as a toddler and yet I keep seeing these things that call this time period terrible.  Maybe it is just a perspective thing and when you look at it as terrific, it really is, and when you look at it as terrible, it really is.  The whole self-fore-filling prophecy.  All I know is that I love Ari as a toddler, tantrums and all, because we are having so much more fun together and she can communicate to me her thoughts which are always surprising and interesting.  Getting a glimpse into how her mind works is a wonder.

On a funny note for discipline, one of our standard disciplinary actions that I take is if I need something done timely (i.e. pick clothes out, buckle car seat belt, put clothes on, etc.) and she is giving me a hard time, I tell her I am counting to 10 and X needs to get done by then.  The first few times, Ari didn't quite get it and since she loves to count, she would count along with me, speeding me up, but would by the end or right after, swiftly get it done.  Try keeping a straight face through that!  The more recent variation that I couldn't keep a straight face through was:  
We were in the car with my mom and Ari has to do her seat belt herself.  "Baby's turn!"  When I see she isn't really doing it, but won't allow my mom to do it, I say, I am counting to 10 and then Safta (Grandma in Hebrew) will do it.  I start counting and as I get to 3 she yells out, "Almost there!"  With a barely contained grin, I keep counting and reach 6 and again, "Almost there!"  With a barely contained laugh but a big smile, I continue, and when I get to 10 she yells, Yay!  We did it!  Safta do it!"  Then she laughs.  After our little excursion, we get back in the car and I am prepared for the fight, when I jump in the car, as my mom is about to do up her car seat, Ari says, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!  Safta do it!" and proceeds to laugh.  So much for my discipline.  It is now a fun counting game.  At least we know who's in charge!  LOL  I really do love this time in her life!

Not to make it seem like it's all rays of sunshine, Ari and I have had 45 minute crying, angry, stand-offs, where we missed one of her classes, because we were fighting over putting on a shirt.  I wanted her to wear one and she was thinking maybe no.  Needless to say, I won, because I don't cave once I have put my proverbial foot down, but she got to choose a coat to wear over it, though it was super hot outside.  Ahhh.... I'm still learning the art of compromise.

So... This installment was not as short as I had thought initially, but hopefully still sweet or at least a good chuckle worth.  :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"You're Going to Spoil that Baby"

How many of us have heard this from strangers because we are holding our babies a lot or being attentive when they cry.  "You are going to spoil that baby", must have been beaten into some people by someone who was not sparing the rod.  LOL

So... what is spoiling?  Is it showing another human being that you love them unconditionally?  If my husband showered me with endless amount of love but our relationship was exactly the same otherwise, would I be spoiled?  Would I expect to always get my way?  Would I behave badly with others?  Would I believe that my wishes were more important than other people's?  Or... Would I just be a person who knew she was loved and was able to be confidant in myself and the world around me knowing I could always turn to my husband when a day goes poorly?

I don't believe there is any way to spoil a child with love and attention.  I do believe that you can spoil a child when you give into their demands all of the time.  If you have said "no", but then turn around and cave because they are crying and throwing a tantrum.  If you let them run amok in a public place without checking their behavior.  If you allow bad behavior to go unpunished because you aren't following through with consequences.  These are the building blocks of spoiling a child.  The amusing thing I have found, is that a lot of times, those same parents who don't believe in giving a lot of attention to their children are the one's caving in to a crying child.  So... whose child will be spoiled?  My disciplined beloved baby girl or the unruly child loved at a distance?

I say... Love, love, and more love!  If I'm spoiling her, then let the spoiling continue!

This is a brief one.  Isn't it nice I'm not writing a novel every time?