Mommy, Esq. is a lawyer at a Big Firm and mom to almost 12 month old twins, Edmund (Ned) and Penelope. In between conference calls and deal closings she thanks her lucky stars for an unbelievable Husband (and co-parent) and nanny. You can find her blog about Big Law and the three loves of her life at www.mommyesq.com.
My son Ned is a cuddler. He likes to “stop by” as he cruises the playroom to be picked up and put his head on your shoulder. There are “kisses” too – although sometimes biting would be more accurate. But when Ned gets frustrated he shouts and hollers at the world, tearing up and sometimes throwing himself backward to have a tantrum (I thought that was in our future!). The nanny and I rub his back when he’s upset and tell him “he’s okay”, and will pick him up for a cuddle.
Ned will not like to be diapered and dressed after his nighttime bath. Partly this is because he’s pretty tired by the time bedtime has rolled around and partly because he’s getting out the rest of his energy. I diaper him standing up and lotion and dress him as he barrels around his bedroom. My husband thinks we should be teaching Ned that sometimes you just have to lie still for a few minutes and “get it over with”. I give Ned 3 chances of standing up in the bathtub (dangerous!) before I just take him out (I do say “no” with the ASL sign (the only one I know)); my husband’s approach is to say “no” and putting him down until bathtime (for both kids) is over.
My husband thinks I coddle Ned. He wants our son to be strong and to problem solve and not always go running to mommy. I sort of laugh because, I mean, he’s a baby! But it has gotten me thinking – how do you turn your little boys from babies into men? We spent so much time this first year of their lives just “surviving” that promoting self reliance and discipline has fallen a bit by the wayside. When both parents work you try to maximize the fun, loving time instead of working on utensil use or self-play. And I know the number of things they will need to learn to do on their own is just going to get longer!
Do you see a difference in the expectations you or your spouse have for sons and daughters? In what ways do you encourage self-reliance in your kids?