I need to work on my mean face. Obviously my stern look and tone isn’t always effective. Don’t get me wrong, my son understands NO and most of the time listens when I tell him no. Other times, I swear he ignores me for fun.
My son has turned into a monkey, he literally climbs everything! I walked into the kitchen one day and he had climbed onto the chair and was sitting in front of the laptop. He decided that our couch is his playground. Up and down, up and down. Jump jump jump. Obviously I interject and stop him from jumping, removing him from the couch altogether, but it has reached the point now where he stands on the couch, looks at me and says ‘SIT. SIT. BUM BUM’ because he knows I am going to tell him to sit down. Then he proceeds to jump. And I proceed to yell.
Yes, I have yelled at my child. A few times, most of which were bum change wrestling matches. Yes, I have felt guilty about it afterwards. But A jumping on the couch was not one of those times when I felt guilty. I tried the stern tone the first 3 times, then on the fourth I was red in the face and yelling GET DOWN NOWWWWWWWW. That was it, I expected the lip tremble. The river of tears, the tantrum for not being allowed to do what he wants. What did I get? An evil laugh and even higher jumping. Am I not intimidating enough because I swear I yelled so loud that day that I scared myself. It was at that point I realized that I was doomed.
It’s not just that damn couch either. His crib turned into an invisible bouncy castle. Twice in two days “A” climbed up and jumped out of his crib. I heard a bang one day during his nap time, I honestly thought a car hit our house, turns out it was A. He was on the floor, crying, with a crazy patch of carpet burn on his head. I couldn’t believe it. The crib was lowered one notch to the lowest it could go. The next day, I walked by his room to check on him (again, naptime) and he was lying on the floor again. I guess it was his less than subtle way of telling me that he was done with his crib. I was not ready for him to be in a toddler bed but we had no choice but to switch him. I was done with his monkey business (pun intended).
He opens doors, he gets into the garbage, he manages to get his hands on things he knows he shouldn’t have. He tore the ribbon off our christmas tree and he tries to throw food on the floor when he doesn’t want it. He is at a fun, busy age and you can’t take your eyes off him. It is also an age where I feel like I am constantly saying NO. Even when all I want to do is laugh.
I’ve seen his little eyes peeking out from the side of the couch to see if I am watching so he can get his jump on. I catch him doing something he shouldn’t but he looks so darn cute doing it I want to pretend I didn’t see it! I can’t help but giggle, so I find myself hiding behind a kitchen cupboard or sticking my head in the fridge to hide my smile. Then I take a few seconds to compose myself and release the supposed to be intimidating voice.
I can’t let him see me smile when he’s doing something wrong. I can’t ignore and turn a blind eye. I can’t always be fun Mommy. I need to discipline him and teach him right from wrong. I need him to take me seriously so I will not be doomed for the rest of my life.
Today it’s “get off the couch”, tomorrow it’ll be “turn off the computer and do your homework”. No matter the challenge, no matter his age, I want to be ready. I want to have my mean face mastered so I can stand my ground and not give in. But the truth is, and I believe even at 18 months A already knows this, he has me wrapped. I am doomed.
Hugs & Smiles,