Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The big D

It’s begun. The D word. At 10 months of age, Sticky Baby is gagging for it. Discipline.

Such a scary, grown-up word. Three syllables that had my 16 year old self desperately conjuring up lie upon lie upon lie, to get out of another lie that I lied to my parents about. Yes, I was a deceiving little so-and-so as a teenager. Sorry mum and dad. The two of you will be glad to know (and laughing your asses off, I bet) that the penance for my shady adolescent behaviour is well and truly upon me and comes in the form of a sticky, curly haired, stubborn, tough-as-nails little nugget. And now it’s my turn to dish out the discipline. Sweet Jesus.

How can you feel like laughing out loud AND throttling something at the same time? This is what Papadada and I are facing of late. One of us is either burying our head in a pillow to stifle fits of laughter or giving Sticky Baby a firm talking to. We take turns. ‘Cause really, when it comes down to it, it’s really very funny to see a baby kick up a stink. Hilarious in fact. So freakin’ funny that I want to tear chunks of my own hair out.

It’s that mad mix of hilarity and frustration. You can either choose to laugh (for the love of Lady Gaga, not in front of the conniving baby, who’s watching your reaction with eagle eyes) or you can choose to lose your shit. Strangely enough, I mostly sometimes become eerily calm. So zen, in fact, that I think I could definitely land a gig on Play School. I even start singing whilst doing the whole mummy-reverse-psychology scam. ‘Ooh, Sticky Baby, you just threw a spoonful of sweet potato across the room. Sweet potato, sweet potato, potati, potato, potati♫, Mummy is not bothered at all!”

For now, our discipline mostly involves not giving into him. Adolf (Papadada has nick-named him this...during these trying new times) wants to be in my arms all the time. No seriously, ALL THE TIME. Lately, when I put him down, he screams so wildly that Papadada and I are reduced to staring at each other with this expression on our faces:
Totally don’t know this guy, but this is what our faces look like

Our tactics so far include:
  • Putting him down when he screeches like a banshee for no apparent reason
  • Not paying him any attention while he is screaming bloody murder - again for no known reason
  • Addressing him firmly, yet calmly, at eye level
  • Tapping him on the wrist/chunky baby thigh when he really, really deserves it - like biting, or waving his arms aggressively at us while hollering like a drunken hobo, or chucking an all-out tantrum with screams sounding like a cross between two parakeets having 'sexy time' and crunching gears in a manual car. (Seriously, that’s a spot-on description of what our child sounds like. Good times.)
It’s a true test of parental patience, strategy and consistency. Thankfully, I have a loyal team-mate in Papadada. He calms me down when I need it and revs me up when he thinks I’m letting Adolf get away with too much. And I do the same for him. Either way, the kid stands no chance up against the two of us.

There’s also a sweet side to this new stage of development. Seeing this little boy grow, testing boundaries, experimenting with emotions,  discovering this big personality of his. In order to learn right from wrong, he is bound to dip his toes in ‘wrong’ at some point. 

And it really is just that - Experimenting - it’s written all over his face that he’s just trying his ‘naughty hat’ on for size. 

And we’ll be there to take it right off and tell him it doesn’t suit him...


Mrs G said...

haha...I remember your teenage years like it was yesterday! lol. I'll come to you for discipline advice next year...

Post a Comment