A First: Mom Put in “Time Out!”

It’s true.

I was given a “time out” by my pre-schooler last night.  I can’t sneak anything by her anymore! Geez!

Daddy O. was commenting on the chaos I created in the kitchen in order to lovingly prepare a pasta salad with olives, carrots, cheese & salami.  He was the one to clean it up, so I asked him if he would have preferred not to have such a delicious pasta salad. As I made that comment, I innocently gave him a swat on the tush.

My daughter had clear sight of my butt-smack, and almost instantly said, “Mom, no hitting. You get a time-out.”

Daddy O., enjoying this a little too much, said, “Okay Mama, it’s one minute for each year old you are.”

I replied, “Can I please have 30-some minutes of time to myself?  Can I bring a book?”  Can you say paradise?!

We compromised, and I was given a two-minute time-out in the corner.  Daddy O. and big sister seemed to savor watching me as I served time as a consequence for choosing to hit.

Finally the oven timer buzz, and I was allowed out of time-out.  I then gave Daddy O. a hug and a smooch, and told him I was sorry.  I will try to make better decisions next time (or at least wait until the kids are in bed to deliver butt-smacks).

Have you been put in time-out by your kids?  I’d love to hear about it!

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Go All “Mama Jumbo”

When it comes to protecting your own child, you’ve probably heard the expression to go or become a “mama bear.”  I’d like to coin a new term for a more extreme form of a mother defending her young:

Go Mama Jumbo (as in elephant)

Why the new term? Well, I have it on good authority that bears don’t have ANYTHING on elephants.  How do I know this?  How can I be absolutely sure that I am only sharing accurate, interesting and helpful  information on my blog?

Am I a secret zoology expert?  Do I frequently read or watch National Geographic? Am I a simple fan of elephants at the zoo?

I won’t keep you hanging in suspense any longer… I know this because of watching a famed Disney Classic:

DUMBO

Dumbo Flying-2

Dumbo Flying-2 (Photo credit: Henry Mestre)

I have been lucky to watch Dumbo again and again with my daughter recently. (Can you believe there is a 70th Anniversary edition available?!) The scene where the kids are teasing Dumbo and pulling his ears drives Mama Jumbo over the edge, causing her to grab the little boy, give him a spanking with her trunk, throw hay bales, knock down a tent pole (okay, give her a break, she’s getting whipped by trainers at this point), and loudly trumpeting with crazy red eyes.  Poor mama ends up in solitary confinement because she defended her son. (and I cried when Dumbo gets to visit her in solitary confinement).

Thus the new term – go all Mama Jumbo!

I could relate to this child-defense response on so many levels.  As a mom (and parent), you have that natural, almost animal instinct to protect your young – at any cost.  Today alone I screamed, “No wait,” to remind my daughter not to run out of Target into the road. There are many things we do each and every day to keep our kids safe – just think of all of the childproofing – outlet plugs, gates, door knob protectors, etc.  Pure love will drive you to great lengths to protect your children.

Mama Jumbo actions also brings up the taboo subject of other adults disciplining your child. Everyone has their own ideas on appropriate discipline – babysitters, grandparents, day care centers, schools…and even spouses. When something conflicts with your own rules at home, then Mama Jumbo will appear without hesitation. I can’t recall the last time I went Mama Jumbo to address different discipline approaches, but I’m sure it will happen at some point.

What makes you go Mama Jumbo?  If you are more scientifically inclined than me, are elephants (or another animal) particularly protective parents? At the very least, I know they don’t eat their young!

Happy Mother’s Day – GROWL!!

One thing that I know for sure: there will be growling this Mother’s Day.

It’s not a gift that I WANT, but it is a phase that my daughter is in – growling at family, friends, and strangers.  Hey, I guess she doesn’t discriminate!

I had mentioned in 3 Milestones you won’t find in a baby book that my daughter has growled at strangers in public.  In one situation, we were at the grocery store, and she growled at a sweet old lady. After dinner at a local burger and custard joint, she sort of made light sabre noises while swinging her umbrella (not ideal, but I’ll let it go). As we walked home, she growled at a man who was walking by and commenting on the cold weather. More growling at her aunt, brother, me, Daddy O. and even some people at church. “Peace be with you” is followed by “GRRRR!”

Lovely, right?!

Reaction to Growling

My first reaction is to ignore her and apologize for her behavior.

“So sorry. My daughter is not a conversationalist.”

Or, “She’s pretending to be an animal.” (This is usually the case since she LOVES animals.)

Or, “Well that’s one way to react to this cold weather.”

My husband’s reaction was a LOT less tolerant, saying to me “You let her get away with this?!”

Umm, yeah I guess I do.

We teach out kids to NOT talk to strangers.  Frequently strangers can try to get too close or engage in conversation, and I can see from a small child’s perspective how this can be intimidating or  uncomfortable.  And frankly, I’m GLAD that she doesn’t get too friendly with strangers when you think about all of the worst case scenarios that COULD happen.

So will I be happy to hear her growls this weekend?  No, but I’ll do my best to ignore it and just go for the hugs & kisses whenever I can.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions to cope with growling issues!  Is ignoring this behavior the best strategy?  We have talked about “appropriate behavior,” how growling is not very nice, why animals growl, etc.  Life with a 3.5 year old is always entertaining!