28 May 2012, by Jaime Teo
I think all parents know what I’m talking about.
These are days when Renee is on her best behaviour the entire day. She says her Ps and Qs; she asks for things in a nice voice and is generally fun to be around.
Even when she’s being bossy on these nice days, we are agreeable because she asks nicely. Like the other day when she ordered Dan and I (nicely) to put on little backpacks alongside her and bounce around. I know it makes an odd looking family picture especially when Daddy is wearing the tiny penguin backpack and bouncing around but… she asked!
Oh and she has this little quirk that makes her seem like a well mannered little girl: she hasn’t yet grasped the words “YOU” and “ME”.
For instance if she wants milk, she’ll say “You want milk (or whatever food/drink she wants that is within sight)?”
I’m not sure why she speaks with this upward inflection at the end of her sentences so it actually sounds like she’s being polite and asking you if you want a drink. It becomes a rather humorous situation when the person spoken to doesn’t realise that she’s asking for something instead of offering it, and keeps rejecting her offer. I usually try to whisk her away before she gives the game away =p
It makes me feel like it’s a good day because I love it when she’s well mannered.
Then the not so good days are when Renee is cranky. As most parents will attest, it is much easier to give in than to fight a tantrum but I would really hate for Renee to become bratty and so sometimes think that I should enforce some rules. The no screaming and no kicking rule is something I wish I could enforce better because my patience with screaming is very limited. I got so frustrated a few weeks ago that I brought the ruler out (*gasp*) and told her that I’d smack her hand if she screamed or kicked. Of course she didn’t listen and continued with her screaming and kicking. And since I did say I’d smack her hand, I did. I did it without anger just like most books/parenting sites/google suggested. I also explained why I was going to smack her before I actually did it.
I thought I made a pretty painful point and was prepared for her to start bawling. Instead, she just rubbed her hand on her leg and then proceeded to play with something else. Less than half an hour later, she screamed over something else and we had the whole conversation again. She actually looked very blasÃ© when I took the ruler out maybe the third time. I did this for 2 days before deciding that this route is obviously not working. My current game plan is to be indifferent to her screams and distract her with something else. I’ll admit it’s most difficult to do this outside when other people are looking at us, askance at her behaviour and my lack of discipline.
It obviously isn’t easy, the choices every parent has to make. We sometimes just have to keep remembering the days that make it worth it.
Like the other day when she said “Renee wuffs Mommy so much”. That pretty much negates any bad day.