Thursday, October 8, 2009

Parenting 101

There are so many times throughout my day when I internally throw my hands up in the air and internally shriek "what am I supposed to do?" and then even after the moment has passed I am still not sure if what I did was the right thing. So, I've decided to post a few of these scenarios, because I'd like to pick your brains about what you'd do in these situations.

Scenario 1: You are sitting in church. You have a toddler on your lap, and she's being pretty good. Quite suddenly she leans down towards your forearm and bites it. Hard. She does not let go. You say, "Hallie, don't bite mommy." She does not let go. You aren't sure how much longer you can stand to have her teeth digging into your skin. You lean over to your husband. "Hallie is biting me, and I can't get her to stop."

Scenario 2: She does something for the eleventh time that you have told her quite sternly not to do. Therefore, this is the eleventh time you are putting her in time out. It's becoming obvious that she thinks it is a game. You decide to leave her in time out until she gets upset about it. Twenty minutes go by and you realize she's asleep. Clearly, this has not been a punishment and she will have no hesitation to be naughty doing the same thing the following day.

Scenario 3: You are trying to get dinner in the crockpot so you don't have to worry about it later in the day. Hallie has been standing behind you, pulling at your legs and screaming the entire time you've been chopping vegetables. In your stress at her screaming and your haste to get it done you overdefrost the meat in the microwave, and blood has dripped out of the container all over the microwave, and when you go to pick it up it is clear that it will leak all over the floor on its way to the pan. You carry it as quickly as possible, realizing that you are still dripping blood all over the floor. In your haste to wash your hands so you can clean up the blood you knock over your daughter, because she is standing directly behind you screaming. So there is blood all over the microwave, the floor, and your daughter is probably lying in it, screaming more now, and the meat is burning in the pan because you can't stir it until you wash your hands and what should you do first?

So, what would you do?


  1. Oh, Amy, I feel for you. When I was in situations like that I remember hearing people tell me that these were the best days of my life as a mother. I thought that if that were true I would not be able to handle it. At the time we had no money either (to add to the child stress). And wait till you have two children - things get more crazy exponentially. I'm not helping am I? Things really do get better as children grow up and are able to reason and negotiate. Try to remember that there are very few things that are absolute when raising children. #1 You love your child and she needs to feel that. #2 You want her to be happy and safe.
    Biting - put your finger in the side of her mouth to wedge her jaws apart.
    Discipline - figure out if it is for her or you. Are you just trying to be right and punish her, or are you trying to teach her? Find some kind of discipline that will reward good behavior, not just punish.
    Cooking - put down the knife, turn off the meat and put her up on the counter and let her help. I know, it's horrible when they are little, but if you want her to help when she is big enough to help you have to teach her when she is too little to help. Give her a plastic knife and a carrot or marshmallows or something and let her "help". Grandma Homer used to say you are not raising a garden you are raising children. The task is never as important as your child.
    But don't worry, no parent gets that until their children are all grown up.

  2. Haha. Sorry. I shouldn't laugh at your pain. ;) I'll wink at it.

    No advice! Well, I guess I can answer some of your questions. With Hallie falling asleep during time out, I would probably just be grateful that she is taking a nap. I know she needs to learn that her behavior is bad, but I guess that's a battle for another day. Good luck with that other day.

    With the teeth situation, it is hard, too. She's not making noise and disrupting church; she's just hurting you. I know you hide your reaction, because you think she wants one, but the next time she bites you, maybe you could cry or act sad to help her understand it hurts. Have you ever bitten her back gently? Hm. Nix that. That's a bad idea.

    I would probably turn off the stove, pick up Hallie, and comfort her. Clean up the blood. Throw the meat away if it is too burnt and enjoy a tasty vegetarian dinner. I Hallie had blood on her, I would wash that off, too. And if it came down to it, tonight might be a leftover or pizza night. (Not that the Roses ever do anything like order pizza.)

    Pretty much, I think you are an amazing mom, and I want to be like you!

  3. Wow. I really like Aunt Ann's comment.

  4. Also, read the Oct. 1 post on my friend's blog:

  5. yeah, the other frustrating thing about the dinner one is we had company coming over, so I felt like it had to be good and presentable and not just leftovers.

  6. I am so sorry. I have no advice. I just wanted to let you know that I am so sorry. Hang it there. (I also wanted to let you know that I do read each of your posts; I just usually have a baby banging on the keyboard, so I never leave a comment!)

  7. If Gareth is behaving poorly in church we take him out to an empty room (NOT the foyer)and force him to sit still on our lap facing a wall. When he's ready to behave we go back in.

    When Gareth thought time-out was a game I would give him "quiet time" on my lap instead. Especially for hitting, since quiet time involved me pinning his arms down as I held him. Wow, I sound really mean, don't I? But he got the idea that that was a punishment. We do a lot more time out now and less "quiet time", since he's understanding better why he's getting a time out.

    When cooking I've found that if Gareth is screaming if I just force myself to not be bothered and completely ignore him (don't even look at him), then he figures out eventually that I'm busy and goes and finds a toy to play with quietly. In your specific situation, I'd get myself cleaned up, give the meat a quick stir, and then clean up the floor and Hallie (stirring the meat occasionally), and leave the microwave 'til later.

    Good luck!

  8. Mia has bitten me a couple times and in church and not let go. They are worse than dogs, the finger prying didn't work her her.
    My answer for the crock-pot is not to worry about defrosting the meat. I always put mine in frozen and it turns out great.

    Good luck with toddlerhood. If you find any sure fire answers please share!