As we celebrate my son’s second birthday (as well as St. Pat’s Day), I think of that cliché adage “look at how far you’ve come.” This applies to both parent and child, in our case.
Children change you life in so many ways, almost all for the better (let’s face it, “alone time” with the husband isn’t really the same, and guests and dinner parties are now scheduled around naps and bedtimes). In comparison a year ago, he now runs, jumps (“galloping” while making horse noises is his newest thing), communicates in full, if short, sentences, and sincerely enjoys interacting, playing with, and rough-housing with other children. He also knows how to turn on the charm.
Oh yes, he is a charmer. Our son is now shy in the least. He knows how to get what he wants… practicalmomma has mixed feelings about this. Although I love the fact that Jibbers is highly outgoing, extroverted, and curious, he shows NO hesitation to be picked up by any random stranger, and little, if any, inclination, to follow Mom and Dad when we begin to disappear from sight (perhaps he was never fooled by that “bye, bye, we’re leaving” trick).
Given his charisma, striking smile, and fetching good looks (okay, practicalmomma might be a BIT biased), friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike all let Jibbers get away with far more than practicalmomma would. Although this “grandparents spoilage” phenomena is undoubtedly common, practicalmomma suspects that Jibbers may be getting an extra-large dose. Which leads me to the challenge of how to discipline not only Jibbers, but the source of this spoilage. How do you politely tell well-meaning people who you do not want to encourage behavior you would not allow at home? [sigh] Practicalmomma is surely not alone in this conundrum, but as a first-time mommy, I wish there was a guidebook for this sort of thing…