Socialization: We haz it

I think the reason babies are born helpless and wordless and unable to sass back is to give new parents a chance to practice their patience before they’re required to actually PARENT. When you come home with an infant you quickly learn important baby-care skills such as how to get dressed while holding a baby in one arm, reading lips on tv because the baby is sleeping and you don’t want to risk turning up the volume, and taking 30 second showers. But Baby Bootcamp lasts only a few months and doesn’t include what to do when your child steals a toy from someone else’s child and then smacks them in the head with it. And then laughs. That requires discipline, something I am definitely still learning.

Yesterday at play group Baby Evan had a pushing incident with one of his friends. Shockingly, he was the victim instead of the aggressor but it’s only a matter of time before Babyzilla attacks become an international concern.

(Recreation of said incident:)

I’m very lucky that watching the moms I know with their kids is like taking a master class in patient parenting. They say stuff like “let’s make a good decision” and “what do you think will be the consequences of your actions?” and “put your eyes on my eyes while I’m talking to you”. I was secretly laughing at that kind of talk – does a 2 year old really understand consequences? – until the 2 year old understood the consequences. And another kid shared all her toys nicely. And no one screamed when Baby Evan stole their sippy cup (because my child is the worst behaved one) (mostly because he’s only 9 months old) (we’re working on it).

I’m hoping both the good parenting and the good behavior will start to rub off on us. Nobody wants to be the pariah of the playgroup or have a kid who doesn’t get invited to birthday parties. Because those kids grow up to be assholes. And then everybody blames their mothers.

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6 Responses to “Socialization: We haz it”

  1. Amanda says:

    ehm. By ‘2 year old at playgroup’ do you mean horrible 3 year old who pushed poor baby Evan off of his mommy?! Socializing is not Madison’s area of expertise still. Without any other kiddos at home she leaches on to every one at the library and dance class but isn’t sure how to share since there really is no need to at home. I am hopin’ and prayin’ that preschool will help her work through this.

    But that still leaves poor mommy thinking I raised an evil child how did this happen? Ugh. Parenting sucks. I will say the whole ‘you will look at me when I am talking to you’ think works wonders! Everything else we are still trying to figure out.

  2. Sarah says:

    Oh, she’s talking about my 2 yr old! Who sometimes understands consequences, but pushes her friends over anyways. Arrgh.

    I feel like such a tool with the “look your eyes at my eyes” stuff in public! But it usually does work. And her least favorite part of the day was “Mine pushin’ Baby Eban” so hopefully that’s progress… I have no desire to be the asshole mother with the asshole kids!

  3. bebehblog says:

    Sarah, I hope you understand I was complimenting your parenting and not criticizing your child! I was so impressed you followed through with your threat to actually take her home if she wasn’t nice – I’d be tempted to just “forget” the incident so I didn’t have to entertain 3 kids by myself all afternoon. Which is why I’m no good at this parenting stuff yet.

    And Amanda, all 3 year olds have trouble listening sometimes. Madison does a great job watching Baby Evan in the church nursery. I bet she has a great time at preschool and gets a report card saying “plays well with others” in no time.

  4. Erin says:

    I love the “put your eyes on my eyes line”!!! I’ve never heard that before. I will have to put that down in my mental notebook for later use.

  5. mkp says:

    I think there’s a lot to be said for responding calmly and consistently to behavior, good and bad, and noticing. My worst-behaved younger cousins grew up in a house where parents valued Grown-up Time more than “correct youngun’s malfeasance” time, and so they grew up feeling both invisible (and insecure) and above the law (and therefore foolhardy)

  6. Sarah says:

    Oh, totally, and thank you for the compliment! She’s totally a brute, though, so feel free to criticize as well. ;) The whole follow-through thing is such a pain, because I so don’t want to leave, but it does work. Hopefully quickly!

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