Saturday, July 30, 2011

Parenting

I never thought much about parenting until about a year ago. My friend, Aleasha, has three babies and they are all **fantastic**. No exaggeration, those babies can go to the finest restaurant and have their best manners. Aleasha can tell them to do something and, without fail, it gets done. The girls are not even double digits-- the oldest is about to start kindergarten. (holy mackerel, I spelled it right-- first try, without spell check) But, they are, by far, the kind of children I want to raise.

In Augusta, Aleasha had no one. I mean, she had her husband, who was in Husband's residency class, but that being said- she had a mother, two sisters, three grandmothers, and a home four states away. When the chips were down, it was Aleasha who had to do the raising. I was constantly amazed by her and her ability to not hide under the covers every day.

She gave me confidence that I could have a well behaved child without having to brow beat them or myself. Before relocating to DC, I watched how she interacted with her babes & made mental notes of how to emulate things I liked. Other parents were put on the same pedestal- especially those that have great kids. Much like a game tape, these parents would be my teachers of both mistakes and successes.

Why?

Because when I was growing up, you could tell the kids that were raised by Dr. Spock Parents- and they had their own basket full of problems. By no means am I raising the perfection flag for my family, but, well, Dr. Spock kids were... they were who they were.

Recently, LMC has had her own set of problems. She is deep in the throws of being a two year old- full of life, energy, and resilience. Full of herself, of her friends, and wanting it her way right away. My patience has been running thin and my rope has been unraveling about how to handle situations in our 1056 square foot apartment. I broke down. An hour on Amazon was spent researching parenting books, because I am not going to be That Parent. 

I've been That Girl plenty of times, but please, oh please, do not let me be That Parent.

The book, Life with Toddlers- 3 Simple Strategies to East the Struggle and Raise Happy, Healthy Toddlers (currently to the right, what I am reading) has a certain level of common sense and a certain level of Dr. Spock authority. For instance:
Everybody is allowed a bad day every now and then, but in the midst of your day from hell, try to remember your child's age. They're just learning what makes the world go round. It is not their intention to drive us batty. They just want to know what'll happen if they shake chocolate milk onto our four thousand dollar Karastan rug or how long they'll need to howl before you give them an Oreo. It's not personal- just the business of being a toddler. 
 Or.... my very favorite:
Toddlers are a walking definition of aggravation, and from their vantage point, who could blame them.... Adults insist they eat disgusting green veggies for dinner instead of ice cream. Other pint sized little monsters threaten their life and steal their toys. The pet turtle refuses to cuddle. Mommies go ape over a ludicrous article of clothing called "underwear" and badger the poor tot to sit on the toilet for no conceivably good reason. Cell phones are off limits, and Mommy locks up all the knives...Just when things get interesting, all hell breaks loose and they get tossed in a time out. If I were a toddler, I'd be on a permanent protest of life's unfairness too.
Anyway, that being said, I have been reading this book-- not from front to back, but from chapter to as-I-need-it chapter & it has, for the most part, been very helpful. Don't get me wrong- I still very much so have a two year old, but zonkers, she is a different toddler now than she was six weeks ago.

There is more to the book, but you did not come here to read a parenting book. So, if you are thinking that you might be in my boat- check it out. There is nothing complicated about it & LMC actually likes to see it laying around and say, "A MESS! A MESS!" as there are two toddlers on the front making .... a mess... out of blue icing and cake.

1 comment:

Aleasha said...

OH my Word! This post is quite possibly the sweetest thing I think I have ever read. Honestly. I really had no idea that you watched me like that. I do try to be a great mom. I try every day and it is so dang hard. You, my dear friend are AN AMAZING mom. LMC is so lucky to have you as her mom! Thank you for reminding me of what I need to DO instead of what I want to do. I needed this so very much today.

On that note, we had some visitors come over the other day to welcome us to the area. Super sweet ladies just chatting it up with me to find out more about me when Ava comes to sit down beside me. She starts to wipe something off her leg and is giggling. I ask her what that was (the ladies are maybe 10 feet from me so I know they are hearing our conversation) when she replies "A booger". A what? I ask. "Yep, it was a booger mom. I put it there. Ya know, I like to do that. I pick my nose and then wipe my boogers on my leg" I was mortified. You've got to be kidding me, right? Nope she said that right there in front of everyone. Im not sure where she learned that. Heaven knows, I dont do that!

So wish we lived closer. Love ya!