Thursday, September 27, 2012

Notes from life, part II: Parenting missteps and noticing the color before you.

I realized I had some more thoughts left after my post last night.

First, read this:    It's such a great follow up to the original post and I really liked the answers to a lot of the questions.  (I know back to adoption for a moment).

And to more mundane observations--

I have made a couple big parenting blunders the last couple months.  Actually, I blunder all the time!  However a couple nights ago, I heard Natalie tell Isla (who was throwing a horrendous tantrum), "just go on your bed and be really quiet and mom will come in and give you a lot of special food, don't worry."  You might wonder what she was talking about.  Well, Natalie threw a horrible tantrum about a week ago (complete with tearing her room apart and screaming nasty things at me).  After she finally calmed down (I had sent her to her room without dinner in desperation) I started feeling bad.  And I decided to be like the mom in the Wild Things.  (You know, when Max came back from his adventure dinner was there and it was still warm?).  So, even though I had banished her to her room, I brought her a plate of special food and milk.  She felt very special and we had a good talk.  Come to find out that now, if anyone throws a tantrum I am expected to bring them a special dinner and milk afterwards.  Huh.  Somehow they missed my point I think!

My other mistake was that I started reading Natalie the Little House on the Prairie books.  Somehow I totally forgot how many scary forest parts there are in the Cabin in the Woods book.  I found myself reading the chapter about the black panther chasing the grandfather on his horse in the dark woods with the panther screaming as he ran.  And midway through the chapter it hit-- WHAT I was reading and to WHOM I was reading it to !  Big mistake.  Let's just say that I spent most of the rest of the next 10 minutes trying to create a very nice happy (believable) ending to that chapter about how panthers are just big cats and they like to yell but they are nice and the grandfather just wanted to get home fast.  As you can imagine that didn't work, and my 5 year old had by that time worked up a very realistic picture of just what would have happened had the grandfather been caught.  And as you also imagine, I spent many many nights after that with her waking up in the middle of the night scared of panthers (as we live near a forest) and me trying to convince her they are just problem!  Yeah.  Not a good move.

M&Ms are very motivating.  Especially to twins who could care less about going in the potty.  I broke down (again) and brought out the m&ms.  And guess who was going on the potty all day?  Yup, Mia.  The problem is that this happened before and when I take away the M&Ms she could care less about the potty.  M&Ms still might cost less in the long run than diapers though...

Isla is sick with croup and had this comment about it, "Mommy, why my mouth has a lion in it?"

We have all always talked about the color of our hair, skin and eyes.  Ellie and Mia have always called their skin color brown.  Well two weeks ago they noticed for the first time another little girl who had brown skin and Mia said, 'there's another Ellie'.  We talked about the fact the little girl wasn't Ellie but had brown skin like her.  Since then they notice every child or adult with brown skin and it makes them SO happy.    It's interesting to me, on a development note how all of a sudden they notice skin tones and how theirs matches or doesn't match.   We have been going to the same church for about 9 months.  It is about 95% African American/African.   This last Sunday, it totally hit them both that everyone they saw had brown skin.  The looks on their faces were priceless, made me want to cry and caused me to be so grateful that we chose this church.  Mia looked at me with wonder in her eyes and gigantic smilie and said, "all these people have brown skin like me".   Yes, baby, they do, beautiful brown skin like you.  

There are so many things I am thankful for today.  These little ones top the list today.


1 comment:

mary said...

interesting how the skin color awareness hit all of the sudden. you're a fabulous mama.