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:
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.