There are always moments as a Momma that make you especially proud. I had many of those moments this weekend. I was able to spend quality time with my son all weekend. Even while we cleaned the house all day Saturday, Elijah was right there with us, helping in his own way. Our positive reinforcement and discipline tactics are working well on him. It makes me proud when he is receptive to us.
I don’t like spanking my child. It’s just not for me. Although I have lightly patted his hand and bottom before, I prefer not to go there. I feel like it belittles him, truly hurts his feelings and isn’t that greatly effective. Probably because I grew up in a household where a “whooping” was very normal. Picking out my belt happened on more than one occasion. I hated that. And after I told my father, for the first and only time in my life, that I hated him, he never spanked me again. I know it broke his heart to hear his little girl say that, and he never every spanked me again. That was when I was 7 years old. Although we feared our parents because we didn’t want to get spanked, eat chili peppers or get yelled at, I don’t want my child to fear me. I want him to respect me. To each is their own, but I personally prefer getting down to his eye level, being very firm in my voice and what I’m trying to convey to him, and holding his hands with a firm grip so that he knows I mean business. It’s been working very well.
In fact, a friend came over a couple weeks ago and was surprised we had so many things still in his reach (on our bookshelf). I explained to her that I think one of the BIGGEST mistakes parents make is trying to overly “baby-proof” their homes, instead of teaching their children, from a very early age, what is acceptable and what is not. Taking things off bookshelves, side tables, etc, is NOT acceptable. Sure, he still does it to some extent, but not so much so that it’s a problem. That is always the toughest thing for me when people bring their children to our home – because not everyone does what we do, and therefore, not everyone’s children respond as my child does.
Several people have told us that our backyard (which was “crashed” by DIY’s Yard Crashers) is not baby friendly. And I agree, to some extent. Although, I kind of feel like some people just say things because they have to be kill-joys. For the average parent who baby proofs everything in sight, our backyard definitely is not baby/toddler friendly. But for us, it’s been great! We wanted a tropical paradise to replicate what it feels like to be back home in Fiji. There are lots of rocks in our backyard, and a ton of tropical plants. A lot of “nature” for Elijah to play in, just as we did. Truth is, growing up in Fiji, no one really baby proofed their homes or backyards. Granted, I think it’s important to make some necessary safety precautions (we don’t have flowing water in our backyard for that very reason), we grew up playing with dirt, rocks, and lots of nature. That’s what I want for my son. Elijah is only 16 months old, so he doesn’t play unsupervised (in or out of the house) but he has become VERY good at listening to us when we tell him to put things back, and is receptive on not putting things in his mouth as much as he used to. He still does, but it isn’t as crazy as it once was. This takes patience, determination and good parenting. His receptiveness has made me very proud!
Elijah has been a very finicky eater lately, but I get the idea that it’s because he misses Momma. Because all weekend, in my care, he ate exceptionally well. I made him a delicious egg and veggie scramble on Saturday morning with a ½ piece of toast spread with real peanut butter. He gobbled it up. For a snack, he ate fruit and a granola bar (both of which he loves). His great eating continued through the day and weekend.
When he played with things he wasn’t supposed to, he responded quickly and quite well when I told him “no.”
In fact, this weekend, Elijah made me very proud, countless times.
Being his mother is by far the greatest accomplishment of my life. He makes me proud daily. He makes me smile every second. Even when I’m tired, frustrated, and annoyed, nothing brings me more joy than being his mother.
Here are some pix from over the weekend. PS: Most of them are while he is eating because that’s when I can get him to sit still and look at the camera ;)