This morning I had yet another wonderful conversation with our own infrequent Mary Poppins, Rosario, about raising children. She, of course, has two grown children and has watched many more so she's experienced whereas I am a novice. While I'm always having short conversations with her on my way out the door, I find myself taking the time now to ask her questions and get her input because I really love her calm, wise and orderly approach to child-rearing.
As you know, I'm a proponent of a flexible baby schedule a la Baby Whisperer. I'm now in somewhat uncharted territory though since Muffin is officially a toddler and it's not all about eating and sleeping anymore (which, thankfully, is going like gangbusters). Now it's also playing, walking, falling, climbing, wanting, getting, not-getting, insisting, crying, laughing...and that was just the 6-7am slot.
So I asked Rosario - "What about when he gets upset and screams because he wants something I've taken away? He doesn't understand my explanations yet." I also wanted to say "And I hate being the bad guy and hearing him cry." She calmly said "You take it away and give him something that he can play with. Then someday he'll understand your words and if you tell him every time why he will eventually understand." She also told me, "Once he understands your words, you can also put all the fragile things back out in the house. If you explain to him what is and is not a toy, he'll understand."
So simple, but it made me think:
Remember he's constantly growing and changing, and what is happening today won't happen forever.
Remember he's a child, so even before he understands his boundaries I need to enforce them (even if that means screaming).
Remember he can't understand everything now, and respect that, but someday he will understand if I'm consistent.
We all have a lot to learn from children and those who understand them.
Just a few deep mommy lessons before my first cup of coffee for which I am truly grateful.