Wednesday, April 15, 2009
No more noes
I thought I'd be happy when my son learned the word no. He can tell me what he wants, I figured, and he'll be less fussy overall.
I was wrong. Really, really, really, REALLY wrong. He says no, whether he means it or not, to everything I ask him now. He knows how to nod his head yes as well, but I get about 50 noes for every yes. He'll tell me no whether I ask him a question or tell him to d something. And sometimes he even smiles and laughs at me while he does it. I'm firmly against hitting my child, but he pushed my buttons today. I was out watering the lawn, trying to get some grass and clover seed to grow on that bare patch, and my baby decided to step on my plants in the garden. I asked him to stop, and told him he was hurting the plants. "No." I told him to come here. "No," he smiled. I told him to come over here or he was going to get it. He looked up at me, stepped on my plant, and laughed as he told me "No," again. I sprayed him in the face with the hose. I couldn't help it. His audacity just got to me and I know that his boundary pushing will only get worse in the months and years to come.
So, I didn't hit my child. I held strong and avoided doing what I swore to avoid. But does disciplining him the same way I would discipline my cat count? I mean, if either of my kitties clawed the sofa, they'd get a spray bottle in the face. So, am I showing him that animals deserve equal consideration, or have I relegated him to the status of the household pets? I know he's my baby and that he's my first priority, bar none. But how did he take it? I'm sure I've over-analyzed this whole thing, but it still makes me wonder. Kids hang on to the strangest memories from their childhoods. My nephew fell back in the tub when he was less than a year old and stayed under for a second before my sister rescued him. At age 8 he still won't sit down in a bathtub. There's no way he can remember any of that, but it's still with him manifesting itself as a weird bathtub phobia. It makes you really think about your parenting choices....and really makes you beat yourself up over the mistakes you make in a moment of anger, weakness, stress or fatigue.