The following sums up Little Bug to a T.
We were having some trouble with Independent Play recently. Little Bug was opening her closet and pulling out every.single.toy. in there and opening her drawers and pulling out sheets and clothing.
It was a HUGE mess that was taking over half an hour to clean up! When Sweet Pea came along I didn’t have half an hour to clean all that up.
She was also climbing over the gate in her door way during her playtime. She was making up every excuse known to man of why she needed to climb the gate. I was having to put her back in her room multiple times.
So now every day before her IP time I tell her, “Little Bug, no opening closets and drawers and no climbing the gate. Do play with your toys and do choose to be happy!”
That solved the problem.
A few weeks ago I found a play kitchen on Craigslist and it is now in Little Bug’s room. It is a pretty big one and she has enjoyed playing with it since we brought it home.
Well, today I hear her say, “Mommy, I knocked over my kitchen!” (Again, if you know Little Bug, she is just trying everything she can to get me to come to her room. She waits to poop every day during IP so I have to come change her diaper. I am not even kidding.)
So, I come running to her room and sure enough, there is her huge kitchen leaning on it’s side. I asked her why she knocked it over.
And then, Little Bug proclaims, “But Mommy, I didn’t open my closet, I didn’t open my drawers and I didn’t climb the gate!!”
That right there folks, is the epitome of my Little Bug.
That is all very true, Little Bug. Thanks.
Always pushing the limits, that child is.
And here is another example. But this, I love. Because my child experienced a natural consequence and, in my opinion, having your child experience a natural consequences is the best way to teach them a lesson on obedience.
Let me set the stage: It’s naptime. We are sitting in the rocking chair in the living room reading some books before going to bed.
Little Bug sees her beloved Frosty the Snowman sitting on the kitchen counter.
She wants to hold it while we read. I told her that was fine as long as she did not play the song while we are reading. I told her if she chose to push the button we would have to put him back on the counter.
She goes to get Frosty and we settle in for a book. In the middle of a sentence, the song begins to play.
I just think, But of course, she just HAD to make him sing.
So I stop reading and get up with Frosty in my hand and go put him back on the counter.
Let the waters fall. Little Bug was completely and utterly heartbroken.
But I want my Frosty, Mommy.
To which I said, “Well, Little Bug, I told you if you make him sing we will have to put him up. You chose to not obey Mommy and you pushed the button, so the consequence to your disobedience is that you can no longer hold Frosty right now.”
But I want my Frosty, Mommy. I really want him.
I can see how it would be so easy to give in and give her another chance after seeing her broken little heart and her big blue eyes gushing tears of sorrow.
I thought for a millisecond about giving her another chance. But, no.
She went to bed crying for her beloved Frosty.
In this life, we have boundaries and limits and if we chose to cross those boundaries and limits, there are consequences.
She might as well learn this lesson over a stuffed singing Frosty the Snowman than over some other situation down the road when she is older that might actually for real break her heart or harm her in some way.
Parenting is so much more complicated than I ever thought it was going to be.
We always say to Little Bug, “What are we going to do with you, Little Bug??”
And she replies, “Love me forever.”
Yes we will. We will love this girl forever, testing-the-limits and all. After all, everything I do as her mother is grounded in my love for her. I hope she understands that one day.