Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Miss Sassy Pants

Ingrid has started a new phase where she likes to say nonononono and shake her head and look at me while she does something I've just told her not to do. I know it's a common phase for a toddler and that every mom goes through it so I have to ask the experienced moms--how do you keep your sanity???

Up until now it has been easy to care for her. I let her explore and do what she wants within reason, I don't pull her away from everything, I try to let her figure things out for herself. And when it was time to go or we had to move on to the next thing, she came willingly. Now it is a fight to get her to listen. When we come in from outside she throws herself out of my arms to climb the stairs. You would think that after weeks of me herding her inside before she makes a break for the set of stairs going up another flight that she would understand she's not allowed to go up there. But no, every single stinkin' time we come in she bolts for the second set of stairs and screams bloody murder when I pick her up and set her in front of our door. Then she refuses to come inside, so she sits and screams in the hallway, filling the entire apartment building with the sweet sweet sounds of a 15 month old. You're welcome, neighbors!

Yesterday was very trying for me and I admit, I yelled. I don't want to yell, I don't want to be mean mama, I don't want to be telling her no to everything. I hate when I hear moms saying no-no to every little thing their kid wants to do. Kids need to explore, to touch things (within reason) and I know they are just naturally curious. But can you please not be curious about our new Wii system which you already managed to almost break? There's nowhere else for me to put it, I cannot keep it out of your reach so you are going to have to learn how to stay away from something so inviting.

I think that's my main thing--I have set up our house so she is free to go where she wants. I never had to tell her no before, really. But now she's so mobile and growing ever so much taller that she can get into new things, things I can't move out of her way. Things she has to learn she can't touch. So how do I go about doing that without yelling no at her all the time? Especially when she's sassy and yells back at me "nonononononono!" I don't want to teach her to yell, I don't want to speak to her with a mean voice. I want to be loving and gentle and yet I find myself getting so irritated that I yell "Jesus Christ, kid, you are driving me nuts today!! Go find a book to read!" (Yes, I am available for the Mom of the Year award, thanks for asking.)

Help me, fellow mamas. How do you tame the sassy one year old? Or how do you tame the sassy part of yourself?

5 comments:

MaryAnne said...

I have yet to tame a 1yo, so here's hoping you have better luck! I rely on distraction at that age, but some kids are more distractable than others...

As for taming the sassy part of myself, that's where those deep breathing exercises that were not so helpful for childbirth finally get some real use ;)

Allie said...

Glad to hear Allie is not the only sassy 1 year old! When you figure out how to tame the sassiness, let me know! ;)

emarose said...

Ha ha here comes the fun part. There is no easy fix on this one and I will say that I was not always perfect with Mason. I will say that patience and doing everything in your power not to yell is the best. They really do learn to yell back and think that is the how you are suppose to deal with those situations if that is how you deal. I've learned that the hard way with Mason. If I show attitude I teach him to be that way. grrr. With the steps in the hallway next time you are coming home I would let her go up the stairs to explore. Maybe it won't be so tempting next time if she knows what is up there. I have no idea if this will work, just an idea.

Jami said...

Aaaah I'm glad to hear you're finally on the toddler boat. I yell. I try not to, and I feel bad afterward. I try to explain why I'm upset and I'm only looking out for his safety and well-being. He doesn't seem to care much about any explanation. But I know he's taking it all in and I try to treat him like the smart little individual he is. I do know that he doesn't like it when I'm upset. And he doesn't like timeouts. We do timeouts, I come in and ask if he's ready to be nice and a good boy. But usually I find that he's sleepy, or hungry, and I feel bad for being so irritated when he's not himself. From what I hear we're only at the beginning of it all. I have a Buddhism for Mothers book if you want to take a look. You already know everything it says though, take deep breaths, remember that they are learning and everything is new and interesting, blah blah blah :) It's just a stage, one of many. Ben went through it for a couple months, but seems to be heading out of it, so just hang in there. It's just a stage. It's just a stage. Ooommmm

sunnymama said...

I don't think a one year old can be tamed, well sunnyboy wasn't anyway! I really struggled with trying not to yell from around 18-30months. I found it especially hard when I was tired/hungry/etc and ended up parenting how I was parented which is not what I wanted to do at all. I always apologised to sunnyboy though and never thought (or made him think) that the problem was his rather than mine. Things are soooo much easier now that his speech is really developed. Hang in there and try not to be too hard on yourself either. You're a great mother :)