Thursday, April 7, 2011

Parenting Plan A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P---------

I’ve gotta admit, I have this parenting thing down pat! (Really, where is the sarcasm font when you need it?) But seriously I can see myself in 15 years finally getting the hang of this mommy thing as my kids are fleeing the nest. It’s good that we have 18 years for trial and error, and let me tell you I need it every day of those 18 years.
While I am fairly confident in my ability to teach them right from wrong, press in moral integrity to them and all the other important bullet points of parenting….I find myself not quite sure I am taking the correct approach with each child. I sometimes get so busy with the dishes, never ending laundry, errands, bath time, bed time, story time, coloring time,  Barbie time and then God willing, Me time… I tend to forget that although they are both my children, they are completely separate entities. I can’t combine the two. I can’t assume that one tactic or strategy that works wonders on Kylee will work on Logan. Case in point.
·         The Hitting Stage – I have partially convinced myself that hitting, in Logan’s mind is a term of endearment. It has to be. My sweet handsome little monkey would never hurt his big sister out of rebellion to her dictatorship personality! Right? That is my denial explanation to the situation. The realistic explanation to the “hitting stage” is he is 18 months old and that’s just want they do at this age….
Queue mom – this is where I come in. I have tried multiple approaches to this “stage” of “endearment.” Nothing has been ruled as a total success yet. We have tried the swat on the hand….He just stares at me as if thinking “Is that all ya got?” Kylee gives me an intense glare of injustice. As if the swat on the hand doesn’t come close to replacing the lock of beautiful blonde hair that is not longer rooted in her head, but rather in his tiny little hand. Obviously, that has not been effective…. Plan B in full force. TIME OUT! That’s right, he hits, he gets the corner….I know. So traditional and unexpected….. Apparently the door stoppers, you know…The little things on the wall to prevent the door handle from hitting and puncturing the wall….Well those are hilarious to my little man….So his TIME OUT spot has become quite the place of amusement. Crap! Plan C….Wait, there is no plan C….
I reach out to a good friend, very qualified mother and soon to be counselor for some much needed advice. To spare you all the psychological explanations to my children’s “normal” behavior, she offers a new technique to try…. ENFORCE GUILT! In all caps that looks bad. But according to the Ex, it worked so far! Allow me to elaborate. I picked the monkeys from daycare and we headed home. The Ex was coming to get them later. So this offered up a small window of quality time to spend with them. So I was on the floor playing with them, tickling, laughing and enjoying them to the fullest. When out of nowhere, Logan pinches me! Impromptu opportunity to implement our new Plan C. So I grab my arm, begin my hysterics and pretend to cry. I say all the right terms….OUCH, THAT HURT. NOT NICE. Well, this sends my overly aggressive, yet quite sensitive little angel into a traumatic tail spin. Face turns red, crying as if he can’t catch his breath, hands are shaking and he is reaching for me….Think I enforced the guilt correctly??? Sheesh! From the Ex’s report this morning, it apparently did the trick because he did not hit all night long! Ahhh the smell of success is in the air! And all this time I thought guilt came to us naturally. Silly me!
·         The Justin Bieber Stage – Who knew I would have to share my daughter’s lips with this little, un-puberty stricken child with Herbal Essence hair?! She claims Justin Bieber is her boyfriend “for real” and we can only kiss her on the cheek because she is “saving her lips for Justin Bieber.” I refuse to continue spelling out his name. So from here on out, JB is the child in whom my child lusts after. She has requested that we legally change her name to Selena Gomez…. And we are not allowed to sing his songs… I haven’t quite linked up the WHY on that one yet….But regardless and needless to say, I am over JB!!! I am not too concerned with this stage…. As I used to have a Jonathan Taylor Thomas poster on my ceiling!!! I know it will pass….As there came a point in my life I just had to let go of JTT! I have not settled nor accepted that her lips are reserved for a boy, so I sneak my kisses in when she least expects it!
So, here in lies my point. “letting it pass” with Kylee is acceptable in this scenario, whereas, I cannot let the hitting just pass by with Logan on the basis that he is just a boy, or it is just his age…. No matter how busy I get, I have to remember they are completely different and will take personalized approaches to their discipline in order to be effective.
Parenting really is like learning a foreign language. It is difficult, confusing and very frustrating, but extremely rewarding when you finally figure it out and it goes smooth without intentional effort. Way worth it!!!!