Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Letter

Dear Alice,
I know you're too young to understand some of what I'm about to say,
so I'll write here for now.

I love you, sweet girl.
Even when you're disobedient, I love you.

(I love how you wear your sunglasses on your head!)

When I say,
"If you throw your sandwich on the floor,
you will go to your crib for a nap.",
I mean it.

You are now in your crib napping...
without having eaten your sandwich.

You see,
It's my job as your parent to follow through with what I tell you.
You can trust me.
You can count of me.

I know it's not always fun being my kid.

Remember that one time we spent almost 3 hours for you to pick up 6 Cheerios?
Well ever since then you've been a cleaning champ!
You happily clean up your toys every-single-time I ask.
Thank you for that!

Remember last week when I waited 2 hours for you to take off your wet undies?
Not only are you consistently going potty again,
you're going all by yourself!
You're becoming so independent! 

I'm pretty sure those 14 years of working with preschoolers
(yes, since I was a junior in high school.)
have prepared me for you, my most important job. :)

("Look, Mama! I makin' a mess!)

I am invested in you, Sweet Pea.
It's more important for me to teach you 
to do the right thing,
to be a good listener,
to be kind,
to be honest...

than for us to avoid conflict,
to take the easy road,
to be permissive,
to be uninvolved.

(Me: "Alice, what are you doing?"
Alice: "I dwinkin' d'water like Jack.")

I have made mistakes,
and I know there are many more to be made,
but I'm really, really trying to be a good mama for you...
and for the other children we will care for.

I love you, my sweet child.
Sleep well.

Your Mama

(Photos are from what we've been up to during Chickenpox Lockdown 2012.)


Leah @ ThreeFites said...

I'm cracking up!!! Please, please, please tell me how in the world you stick her for 2 hours with wet undies. I really try to stick to my guns with my newly turned 2 year old son but it wears me out. I could NEVER do it for 2 hours. I'm so jealous!!

Melissa said...

Leah, I put her in a pack-in-play, so I could easily wipe it out. She's close to being able to climb out, but hasn't succeeded, yet. I stayed in the room with her the whole time. I eventually went and got my laptop when I saw we were going to be there awhile. :) I kept the talking (on my part) to a minimum. "We can do that, once you take your wet undies off." "You can get out, as soon as you take your wet undies off." etc. As soon as she took her wet undies off, she got out, I cleaned her up, got new undies, and went about the rest of our day like it never happened.

In this case, as with many cases with my daughter, it's a battle of the wills. There is a problem she needs to fix, and can fix, but doesn't want to. I have to win. Spending the time to teach that I mean business now is worth it so I don't have to spend 10-20 minutes/day teaching the same skill/lesson over the next year.

I guess, in short, I stick to my guns because I know being consistant works.

All of this being said, she's the only child in our home right this minute. I KNOW it looks different when other children are involved. :)

Best of luck! 2 year olds are hard!
I went through many Love and Logic trainings as a teacher and director. I highly recommend their books. One of the things they often say is that the lessons are easily learned when children are young...when the stakes are low.

Kelly said...

Oh gosh. I wish I could forward this post to one of my friends without coming across like a total jerk. It's all about being consistent! It is so hard to hang out with their child because he is allowed to get away with murder just because the parents don't feel like dealing with him. Ugh. Sorry, had to vent hahaha

Blomgrens said...

I love the way you do it. And I love the way you explain it. I wish we could be in person learning from each other - I could learn a lot from you I see :) Great job Mama!