In Touchpoints, Dr. Brazelton says that when your baby does something, say pulls up on the TV and gets ready to mash the buttons, and then turns around to look at you, that s/he is looking for discipline. “Is this okay, Mommy? Are you going to do anything about it, Mommy?”
I have this plant. It’s a peace lily plant. I don’t love it, because it’s a funeral plant. I got it at my grandma’s funeral, so every time I look at it, I think “dead grandma plant”. But it was sent by 3 of my friends, who did what they thought was appropriate for a funeral, and I know it was done with love, so I keep it. I’ve also watched this plant dry up and almost die, I’ve cut all the leaves off but one, and have watched it grow back into an actual live plant. I’ve moved the damn thing across country and now I’m perversely attached to it just enough that I will throw my baby out the second story window if he tries to destroy it.
We were in the room where the plant lives, I was working on a closet and tossing Alex random things to play with that seemed to be non choking hazards. I look over and he’s crawling towards the plant and is now grabbing a green leaf in his little destructo boy hand.
“Alex, no.” I warn.
He looks at me, continues to grab at leaf, I get off the floor, move him back across the room and give him a sharp, pointy object to play with.
A few minutes later, he’s back at the plant again.
“Alex! NO!” I command him.
He looks at me, continues to grab at leaf, I get off the floor, move him back across the room and give him a pile of broken glass to play with.
A few minutes later, he’s almost back at the plant again.
“Alexander, NO!” I roar out in teacher voice.
He looks at me. He doesn’t leave the plant, but he doesn’t eat the plant. I get off the floor, move him back across the room and give him some arsenic to play with.
A few minutes later, he’s almost back at the plant again.
“ALEXANDER-NO! YOU DO NOT PLAY WITH THE PLANT! NO! NO! NO!”
He looks at me, he looks at the plant. I look in the closet so I can laugh for just a moment at how perplexed he is. I look back at him, I make mean face. I get off the floor, move him back across the room and give him the cat to play with.
A few minutes later, he takes two crawls toward the plant, then looks at me. I look at him, he whimpers and looks at the plant. He takes two crawls toward the plant then looks at me. “Alex. No.” He whimpers again. The looks at the plant, seductively calling his name. “Alex, just this once, here, this touch is free, c’mon …” He looks at me, whimpers some more and falters toward the plant again.
I get up, go to the opposite side of the room and smile and call his name. “Alex, baby, come here, come see Mommy.”
He eases toward the plant, whimpering. He looks at me, waiting for my reaction. “Oh, Mommy, I want to be a good boy, but the plant is so, so, tempting, I’m trying to resist, but the plant smells like boobie milk and cookies and I just, I just, want … Oh Mommy.”
He reaches the plant, I continue to encourage him to come to me. Then suddenly, the plant quits pushing it’s green leafy wares on my gentle boy, he smiles and comes crawling to me. I scoop him up in my arms and tell him how proud I am of him for listening to me, for doing what I asked him to do, even when it was hard. I hug and kiss him and pray for many more teaching opportunities to go as well as this one did.
Viola – parenting advice, that when followed consistantly, WORKS? Don’t you just love when something works?
Mary Alice’s last blog post..Stereotypes
Glad he finally listened. I hope he doesn’t make a beeline for the plant again, but I’m sure he will… just because it’s off limits
Jenty’s last blog post..Feeling energetic
Mash!?! I am still howling. Are you from the back woods of SC?
And pointy, broken, arsenic, cat? Classic.
Oh yeah, good lesson. I would make the proverbial teenager remark, but I won’t. Bad karma. I’m too close to teenagerdom.
Cricket’s last blog post..More cleaning house
Good boy. Now you only have to do that 689345987023498701243 more times.
Kyla’s last blog post..One more for the list
Looks like you got a wild one on you’re hands.
Julie D.’s last blog post..Holiday Pictures
What Kyla said. And, it’s kinda like dealing with a puppy. 😉
Ree’s last blog post..Hair Not-Thursday
awww, but doesn’t that little whimper kill ya?
Flutter’s last blog post..Bliss
You might want to be especially careful, because they are poisonous, those plants:
magpie’s last blog post..Dusk
Hydes Like Us
Hydes Like Us’s last blog post..The Big Apple
score one for the mommy! Just stay ahead of him, don’t let him win or it is all over. 🙂
Kara’s last blog post..Two hours and forty-five minutes
Kelli @ Gohn Crazy
Yay for a win in your book and a happy face, hugs, and kisses after point is taken! 🙂
Kelli @ Gohn Crazy’s last blog post..Warm Fuzzies
Oy, I wish that worked in our house! (Our peace lily is the computer. Jack loves to pound ont he keys.)
Have you seen Hot Fuzz?
Ewokmama’s last blog post..Not so good books
Ree is totally right. As I was reading it, I was thinking, my god, this is just like my stupid beast of a dog. “Yes I know I’m not supposed to play with/attempt to eat the cat, but look at it, all juicy and delectable. Surely you won’t mind THIS time.”
That is not to insinuate your child is a dog. Er…you get my drift.
Candy’s last blog post..Oh.Good.Lord
Oh how well I know that look. The ‘please Mummy, just this once’ look.
Veronica’s last blog post..Oh Hi! How Are You? You?re Here For The Blog Post Aren?t You? or Oh Wait, What Was I Going To Say Again?
Great post..I could totally visualize that…And I agree you will be doing that 8 bajillion times more..
I also realized that having a puppy is SO much the same…I wonder if Alex will dig in the yard too? I did when I was little..Man did I get in trouble…
MP’s last blog post..Jury Duty Round 2
You’re rockin’ the momminess!
For a second, I thought you were looking towards the closet cause, you know… that’s where you put them….
Sarcastic Mom’s last blog post..My Son: New Yorker at Heart
Mommy won vs. a plant that smells of “boobie milk and cookies”??
Your Mommy powers are strong!
Victoria’s last blog post..Lunch with A Boy, Just Not Mine
I prostrate myself before the mighty powers of Mommy with the longer attention span. I’m taking notes not to have hot beverages handy when reading you.
witchypoo’s last blog post..Contest Winner(s)
Way to go, Momma! Now that’s some fierce parenting right there. I hear you on the having to hide your smile bit. Trust me, it gets harder to hide those smiles and giggles from your little one as they get older. The looks they can give are so priceless!
Huckdoll’s last blog post..Simple Pleasures For Simple Minds
Michelle at Scribbit
Well done–how often do I zip by those moments, oblivious to what I could be teaching? Or worse, teach the wrong thing by my impatience.
Michelle at Scribbit’s last blog post..My Favorite Authors
the difference between the pup and the toddler is that the pup grows up into a trained companion and a toddler becomes a surly teenager.
wait. why did i have kids again?
janet’s last blog post..Absence makes the heart grow weepy
hehehehe.. I did all that with Veronica and David..hehehe but now that I am a nanny I just pick Amy up.. and when Veronica isn’t looking I give Amy chocolate and stuff muawhahaha
p.s shh! don’t tell Veronica…lol
kim’s last blog post..Hello out there…
Love that post! Did he have the same devilish grin that Bad gives me when he looked at you from beside the plant?
Badness Jones’s last blog post..Insomnia is a Blogger’s best friend….
Soooo funny! All the follow-through is such a pain in the wahoo, but it is so worth it the first time you say “no” and he says “yes, ma’am.”!!
Redirection rocks!!! You are so patient even when flustered! Fabulous!
It is sooo hard not to let them see you laugh at the things they do! It gets even worse when they are 5 and 8 and you are trying to teach them to be “well behaved” children!!! 🙂
Random Ramblings’s last blog post..Prepare Yourselves
My son also enjoys mashing those TV buttons. While looking at me and smiling.
I am glad that yours listened. This time! 🙂
Missy’s last blog post..Delurker Day
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