in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

speak nicely: a dilemma

my skinny little monkey enjoying his
breakfast of champions.
today for breakfast, john wanted just one menu: mac and cheese and peas. cold, please, all of it. 

not one to brook for a fight, i figured - could be worse! so the skinny little fella ate his weight in mac and cheese and peas. cold.

--

last night as dinner was cooking, john and i were hanging out and playing on the couch. it was mostly a very pleasant experience - he was in a good mood, he wasn't tantrum-ing, things were cheerful and fun.

except for one little thing: he kept using what i can only describe as a very emphatic voice while telling me what to do. a few times i just said, "john, you need to ask nicely for things. mommy can't hear you if you don't speak nicely." 

but then he grabbed my chin and said in an angry tone, "look at me! do you understand me? DON'T. DO. THAT. you understand? you listening? NO!"

and i shrank inside to the size of a gnat, because i recognized all of those phrases. i should, because they come out of my mouth when i am reprimanding my ever-so-active and busy little man.

it broke my heart to hear his "forceful" voice parroting me. i want him to echo me saying "i love you," and "i'm so proud of you!" and "great job!" and "you're the best!" and he does, i suppose. but last night has me feeling like all he thinks he ever hears is no.

and i am torn, really. because i firmly believe that discipline is so important to his development as a human being. and in order to discipline a busy two-year-old with a mind of his own, a stern voice and attention getting phrase like "do you understand me?" are sometimes necessary.

but am i using them too much? i don't want to be that mom.

but i also don't want to be that mom who is sweetly "negotiating" with the two year old, asking him nicely not to do things for the 900th time.

so where is that middle ground? how do i firmly discipline him in the right directions, but lovingly guide him so he feels more positive than negative coming from me? 

and am i overthinking what's really just a little man playing with tones of voice and experimenting with his own authority?

probably. i do overthink sometimes.

amazing how this child is such a mirror for my own strengths, weaknesses, joys, sorrows, confidence and insecurity. simply amazing.

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