|Bracing ourselves for the next 5 weeks...|
Speaking of protecting your children... I witnessed a low mommy moment today. There was a preschooler who had just gotten off of the mid-day bus as we were walking by on our morning walk and he would NOT get in the car. His mother was repeatedly yelling, "GET IN THE CAR!" but he just stood there with his arms crossed, refusing to obey. What does his mother do? She picks him up, belly in one hand, crotch in the other, swings back for momentum and proceeds to throw him into the backseat of her car and slam the door behind him. She took a minute before getting into the car herself to look around to see if anyone was watching, which is where she found me standing there frozen in disbelief at what I had just witnessed. She quickly got in her car and sped around the corner.
A lot of things flew through my mind.
- Was that child abuse? Should I call the police?
- I have no room to judge, I have never been the mother of an obstinate preschooler
- I don't know what her current life circumstances are.
- I don't know what kind of day she has had.
- I don't know the child, perhaps he is always terribly behaved and disrespectful
- I don't care about any of the above, how could she treat her child like that?!? Poor, poor baby...
As a teacher, my main rule for discipline was, "How would I handle this if his/her parents were standing in the room?" I also had the ability to remind myself, this is not personal, they are not mine, they will not be at home with me tonight. But... what if you are the parent? Having a child with you 24/7 is no joke. If you are sick, tired, annoyed, or simply have to pee there are no sick days, lunch breaks or bathroom breaks. It can be difficult and I am sure that as a child gets older and gains more and more free will, I can imagine that it only becomes that much more difficult.
As I pushed my sweet baby back home, the scene that I had witnessed with the mother throwing her child into the backseat weighed really heavily on my mind. I called David to talk it out and told him that I wonder if maybe I was witnessing part of a vicious cycle. Did the child not obey his mother just because he was a "bad" kid? Or was the child the product of a one way relationship where he is not respected but is expected to respect? A sort of "Do as I say, not as I do" scenario. The thing is, no one can deny that children learn best from what is modeled for them. David and I plan to use a model of positive/respectful parenting. This is not to be confused with permissive parenting. Ayden will have limits and we will tell him no, after heavily weighing the outcome and whether or not we are willing to "fight the fight" and actually follow through. We just plan to respect him as an individual, hear his voice and be available to him in every way that we can. We are hoping that modeling this sort of caring and kind nature will in turn mold him into a caring and kind individual. For example, if we want him to tell us please and thank you, we will first tell him please and thank you. We would like to think that a child raised under this parenting model will want to get in the car when we ask, because we asked and it is the right thing to do.
Now, before you laugh or scoff or think that we feel we will be perfect, we know good and well that this won't always work. We will fail at setting the right example and Ayden won't always be cooperative but I do know that we will always go back and make it right. I hope that when we have moments during which we are too exhausted to make the right parenting choices, we can use those as teaching moments and show that its ok to mess up as long as you acknowledge your mistakes and seek forgiveness. It is always good to set goals to work towards and we feel that if we are always working towards positivity and kindness, we will always be able to find our way back to what is right.
I spent the rest of the day really cherishing the way things are right now. It is so easy to get a baby to do what you want, at least compared to an older child. We had a really wonderful day together and I loved, hugged and rocked my sweet baby as much as I could today.
We had story time and went to see the ducks afterward. They kept chasing each other and Ayden was pretty mesmerized.
Then we met up with a friend of mine and her son at the mall. Ayden found Brown Bear in the play area, and again, found himself mesmerized...
|"You are bigger than I imagined..."|
Last on our agenda for the day was his 9 month well baby check up.
|26.5" long (1st percentile) and 15.25 pounds (also 1st percentile)|
|All is well after our 9 month checkup!|