Thursday, April 3, 2008

This week's lesson

I've been recently reading a lot of blogs written by other moms and I've found that many of them do a weekly roundup, usually on a Friday, of all the events from the last week. So, I thought it might be fun to try a little something like that for myself, and since I'm usually nowhere near a computer on Fridays, I think Thursdays will work. I'm calling it This week's lesson. One of the challenges of being a parent is learning from your mistakes. I know I make mistakes and I think making those mistakes makes me a better parent.


First, I'd like to update anyone who was wondering how Ryan slept this week and I'm proud to say that it's been two weeks in a row that he's slept an entire night. Runny nose and all. He's been a dream. I even put him to bed myself almost everyday this week. Ryan's been no trouble at all, however, it's kind of made Daddy the new Mr. Fix It and during the last two weeks it's been called to my attention that I've gotten into the habit of just asking him to take over when a behavior problem comes up.

He is naturally a fixer. He's always been this way and I've come to expect it from him. If I ask him to fix something, whether it's a leaky faucet or a crying baby, he will do whatever it takes to fix it. Now that we're parents, I've got learn how to be a Mrs. Fix It, or at least be a better Mr. Fix It's assistant.


The other thing that we've been working on as parents is our bickering in front of the kids. The other day, my husband and I were having a heated discussion about, of all things, summer vacation. I was standing in the middle of the room, admittedly, yelling about the most trivial thing. My husband was sitting feeding Ryan and Sophia was standing next to me shouting at her Dad. She wasn't saying anything, just making words sound angry. Both of us stopped talking and looked at her and she gave a little giggle. Maybe she thought we were playing? I don't know, but what she did do was bring to our attention how we talk to each other impacts the behavior of our children. Our argument was meaningless and silly, and our 21 month old taught us a valuable lesson by just mimicking her Mommy.

I know that the environment we raise our kids in has a direct effect on our children, but it can sometimes be forgotten when having to put it into practice. Watching Sophia was a perfect example. Now that we've seen that, hopefully, we can correct our own behavior and never have to see her shout like Mommy again.


Last, but not least, I learned that a little giggle can really change the world. This week we instituted playtime after dinner. Up to this point I've been a stickler about bedtime. At 7 p.m. those kids need to be heading up the steps and it hasn't been easy for me to let go of that regimen.

Sophia caught on to After Dinner Playtime pretty quick. It only took a day or two before Sophia left the table and said, "Play. Play," and grabbed my hand to pull me to the living room.

During playtime, we all sit on the floor (Mommy, Daddy, Sophia and Ryan) and play. Sometimes it's a tea party, other times it's tickle time, but every time it's all of us together not distracted by the computer or the TV or the phone or anything. Sometimes it's only for a couple of minutes (because bedtime can't be put off for too long), but the kids love it and I do too.