As a mother of an adorable, boisterous two year old diva, I find myself in a constant state of organized chaos. Why you may ask?
Allow me to explain. As many parents of toddlers can testify to, you haven’t truly faced the challenges of parenting until you have a two or three year old. It’s as though they are on a different wave length. Maybe because they are now more aware of their surroundings and are on this journey to explore and investigate the world around them; and test their limitations as well as push your buttons in the process.
How else can you explain, you adamantly telling a two year old, do not jump on the bed, do not touch that thing, go seat down and they do the exact opposite. The other day, I overheard our little one arguing (it sure sounded like arguing) with her Daddy about what she wanted to watch on the television. It’s the NBA eastern and western conference finals and he wanted to watch Steph Curry play while she wanted to watch Bubble Guppies and so the argument ensued. Now bear in mind that her speech isn’t all that clear yet, so in the middle of Daddy, NO, Bubble Guppies, you might hear a lot of baby jibbersh. I take a peak from the hall way and I see both of them staring at each other with a stern look on both of their faces. Since she takes after him in looks and disposition, it’s quite a funny sight to behold.
Our weekdays are somewhat regimented; being that we have (or we try to be) out of the house at 7.30am to get to work early while in the evenings a quick bath, supper, play time then straight to bed. At least that’s how it’s supposed to go, (in my head).
Most of the time in the evenings, I have to negotiate with her to get ready for her bath; ‘Do you want a cookie?’ she nods ‘Ok, so if you want a cookie, you have to let mommy give you a bath darling’. She screams no and off she goes running through the hallway with her doggie to go jump on my bed once again and I think to myself, when did this become my life? Talk about the terrible twos
Most of us can remember what growing up was like. We didn’t question, we didn’t debate with our parents especially our mothers who ran the house. Whatever she said was the law and you dare not say or do anything contrary. Who are you to question the law of the land? Now don’t get me wrong, I tested my limit several times but I was often reminded who ran the show. I remember one of my birthdays and I got a cake to take to school the next day. I got up at several times in the night to take pieces of it. The look on my mom’s face the next morning was priceless, apart from getting a whopping (which I deserved) I took the cake to school like that, missing pieces and all. Lesson learned but in my defense, it was my cake after all, why couldn’t I eat it?
I can remember the ‘look’ my mom gave us when we were doing something we shouldn’t be doing; show of hands to anyone who remembers that look. Now I give my daughter the look and she ignores me and continues jumping on my bed screaming in glee. While our parents saw no harm in picking up a switch, a belt, a wire, bamboo sticks to remind us of who was boss, I find myself questioning the effectiveness of those methods. Yes, we learned our lessons and swore never to misbehave again but I feel they only instilled a deep sense of fear in us.
I can remember being so afraid of my parents especially my mom for years and I’m sure that wasn’t her intention but I find myself shuddering when I think of those times she picked up the ‘omorungo’ (eba stick) when I got out of line. And I don’t want my daughter to have similar feelings.
At this juncture, I’m torn on how to instill discipline in her; while still wanting her to be confident, and a lovable adorable little girl. I also want her to understand that certain behaviors cannot and will not be tolerated. For now the two minute time outs seem to be working but for how long?
My husband keeps saying; Talk to her, make her understand ‘she listens but I know that it won’t last because the older she gets the more she begins to understand that she can test her limits.
I’m open to suggestions……