As a mom, I am constantly searching for which issues matter and which do not. Somehow I decided that potty training and binky weaning do not matter one bit to me. Have a binky and wear diapers until you go off to college. I don't really care.
However, there are a few things that I do not tolerate. Hitting, disrespectful talk, and running away from me in public are my big ones.
Yesterday Jack and I made chocolate chip cookies while Grace napped. I am pretty laid back when I cook with my kids. I let them crack eggs, measure stuff and lick the bowls and spoons. I also always let Jack eat chocolate chips while I am mixing the ingredients.
We were finishing up the baking process and Jack asked for more chocolate chips while I poured him milk. I said no and turned to put the milk in the refrigerator. I heard Jack say, "I hate you."
I turned around to face him with my mean mommy face and sternly asked, "what did you just say to me?"
Jack replied with a scared look on his face, "I said that I hate pooh." Smart boy.
It was hard not to laugh and I didn't address the issue further. I think he got the message from my response. But his creativity did make me smile.
And I guess that is really what parenting is about for me. It isn't about a strict set of rules or severe discipline when a lesson has already been learned. For me, it is about finding ways to teach my children boundaries, respect and self-control. If a mean mommy face and a stern voice stops the behavior then it is a good day for me.