Saturday, February 28, 2009

Me vs. The Sweet Mommies

I learn so much from watching fellow mommies at Target and Wal-Mart. It's my classroom, in fact. I observe things I want to try with my son and things I want to avoid. I try desperately to keep judgment out of my heart and mind, (that's very important or the baby gods will hear me and punish me for my know-it-allness...), because I truly believe that all mommies are trying their best.

On to my life-lesson at Target: Sweet Mom vs. Mom-That-Means-Business

I heard the following while trying to find a shirt that hid my problem areas:

"Now, sweetie, what did Mommy tell you? You need to sit down in the seat, don't you? Mommy said she would strap you in if you didn't sit down. Do you want Mommy to strap you in? Please sit down now. Please sit down now. Please sit down now. I'm going to strap you in. I mean it. I'm going to strap you in. Sit down."

I wondered if she would actually ever strap him in and go back to her shopping. It took several minutes of reasoning, being patient and maximum sweetness before she finally strapped him in. The kid was about a year old.

I don't think of myself as a sweet person, (sugary people make me suspicious), so I know that will transfer to my parenting-style. I have to will myself to be patient, and I think reasoning with a one-year-old is stupid. Yep, stupid. I don't expect too much sugar sweetness will go into my approach when my son needs to be corrected.

So, about 5 minutes after that exchange, my little punkin' tried to stand up in the cart. This is how it went:

Me: "Sit."

Him: Looks at me to see if I'm serious. Sees that I'm serious. Slowly lowers himself to the seat. Tries again.

Me: "Park it, NOW."

Him: Sighs. Sits down. Goes back to sucking on his pacifier.

We had a lovely Target experience after that. I just don't think reasoning with a toddler will get me anywhere but frustrated.

Of course, now the baby gods will read this post and my son will be standing up in the cart next week. Feel free to come observe the consequences of my know-it-allness.


Leslie said...

The first exchange sounds a lot like me trying to reason with my weenie dogs. I usually give up first and they do whatever they wanted to do in the first place. If dog mothering (by the way, we abondoned the dogs for an entire YEAR to traipse around Europe) is similar to real mothering, I think I'm in big trouble. On the other hand, our five year plan (i.e. five years to possibly start discussing the possibility of possibly having children) sounds better and better all the time ;)

Tracey said...

I think you are a terrific mommy and that you have just saved yourself a lot of hair-pulling-out moments!

David said...

If you're interested in discovering your parenting style based on the latest research, please check out the Parenting Style Application by Signal Patterns on

The underlying model developed by our team of psychologists reveals an underlying complexity far richer than just 'strict' or 'relaxed' classifications.

And what's particularly interesting is that you can take the test for a spouse and see where potential conflicts might lie and get advice on how to deal w/them. You can also compare results to your friends'.

Sara Criner said...

not as an anywhere near mother but as a child who thinks of herself as turned out half well lol I'll just say I found myself a much more happy child when I knew my mommy meant what she said, so it works better for both parties:) lol

Amy said...

You go girl!!!! Represent!!!!! You are my life....