Friday, February 20, 2009

Mommy Is Embarrassed

So many times Ivy makes me proud~ when she uses new words, uses the potty, or plays well with a friend. This morning was not one of those moments. To be honest, I was down right, wanting to crawl in a hole and never come out embarrassed. Ivy has not been perfect- by any means- but she has been pretty easy. Sleeps good, eats good, and is overall easy... However, I would say as of the past 2 weeks (really since hitting 18 months) we are day in and day out into the terrible 2's. (A little early, I know....) I can handle tantrums, we isolate her, she calms down in time out, and then she is ready to go again but I don't quite know what to do with her aggression. That is where this morning comes in!
So we go to the library for story time and take a seat behind a mom, her little boy (9-ish months) and her daughter (4 yrs). Ivy likes to be in the front so after a few minutes she starts weasling her way between the mom and baby and the big sister. The mom says it is fine and Ivy is dancing and singing. She is happy! Ivy then is in full focus on the little boy's paci. Her "ba-ha-ba" is on day 6 of being in the crib.... not the car, not the church/gym nursery, no where but the crib. I hold her on my lap and talk about how babies have ba-ha-ba's and big girls only use them in the bed. She was back to singing about monkeys jumping on the bed when
STRIKE 1- She grabs the boys paci rears her arm back throwing it at him and hitting him in the head.
Mommy immediately apologizes and takes Ivy in the hall for time out. The whole way out she is saying "hit the baby, hit the baby." She sits in time out while I stand around the corner. Then I talk to her, say we are going to say sorry, we don't hit, it hurts.... blah blah... the whole deal. We go back in. Ivy signs "sorry" which is monumental- she usually refuses to apologize in any sense of the word. We are listening to a story about a moose and everyone is happy and then
STRIKE 2- Ivy decides to smack the older sister square in the head... hard smack... like makes a noise kind of smack.
I was about to die- literally. I apologized to the mom and child and wanted to cuss the other 45 sets of eyes who were staring daggers through me as if I put Ivy up to abusing this family on their trip to the libray. I packed us up and the whole way out she continued yelling "books, books." I didn't talk to Ivy the whole way home, instead I cried about what in the world I have done or failed to do in creating these aggressive behaviors. We came home, ate lunch, and I put her down for an early nap.
Now I sit here- reflecting on this embarrassing moment- and trying to figure out what my next steps as a parent are. I have went back and forth about how to discipline this behavior and what would be good for Ivy. What will help her control this aggression? What will help teach her social skills? I have been so sad and in the end I know I will have many more of these moments throughout Ivy's life. (Pay back is hell~ I am pretty sure I have embarrassed and saddened my mom many a times..... sorry, mom!)
Do you have strong willed child? Or know one? haha :) Any suggestions are welcome!


  1. Oh the joys of parenthood never end! We are dealing with an attitude problem in our household right now. Sometimes its as if Bailey turns into another child! It sounds like you are doing everything right, time outs, apologozing, explaining to her what she did wrong... We as parents have to remember that our babies are just testing what can and cannot be done. And I think all of us moms judge ourselves too hard.No one is perfect, and that includes babies and moms! I have a V for you though...when did you start time outs? And how did make Ivy understand what a time out was? Good luck!

  2. Since I'm not a parent, I don't feel qualified enough to give advice...but here's some encouragement :I'm sure you're doing great!!! I know a lot of kids who would be lucky to have a parent who cares half as much as you do.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Sorry, my post should have said, I have a ? For you, not a V...:)

  5. Hi! I just found your blog by way of Silas' mom, Cara. I'm always so excited to find another Kentuckian, let alone a mother with a child the same age as mine!
    I just wanted to tell you that I totally know where you're coming from. I agree with one of your other posters that our children are testing us. They know how to push their limits and our job is to be consistent (and somehow patient). You get a star in my book for teaching her what a time out is and that she knows how to cool down. My son just cries and then goes right back and does the same thing the next day, if not the next 5 minutes ): Good luck and keep us all posted if you find the magic solution.
    In the meantime, I'll be catching up on the rest of your blog!

  6. Don't be too hard on yourself! You are a great mom and Ivy is a lucky little girl.

  7. I thought the way you handled the situation was absolutely perfect! Don't worry about what anybody else thinks - you did the right thing! I hate when parents do NOTHING so I'm sure there were fellow mommys there that appreciated the way you handled it - even if it didn't seem that way! I'm sure she's just testing her boundaries like the other bloggers mentioned. She's a GOOD girl and you're a GOOD mom so don't be discouraged!

  8. ha! what goes around comes around--seriously, just be consistent as you have been...if she is like you then you will be blessed.

  9. The joys of a strong willed child! We DEFINITELY have one. Naomi was such a timid child, and didn't even know that she could act contrary to what we said, until Gabs came around.

    I have been embarrassed many times and almost pulled my hair out just as many.

    It is all about CONSITENCY! We call Gabby our "violent" child because everything she does, she does violently. Eats, plays, throws fits, everything is sooo dramatic.
    Things I do with her, and her very very very strong willedness ( I made that word up)...

    1. Very consistent in how I disciple-every time I do the exact same routine...
    2. I will hold her in timeout until I get the desired response. I know this sounds cruel but I need her to understand that I am in charge. Sometimes the response is just an apology, or for her to calm down. But if it is an action, like I asked her to come to me, I will make her come to me willinly before I let her go back to play.
    3. I don't give warnings or count. I know this also sounds harsh, but it is really not. I just don't want her to learn to obey when she has to (meaning the second time, or at the count of 3). I tell her once no, and if she does it again, then time-out she goes!
    4. I never get angry (or yell) ...well at least I try not too:) I am not saying it is not acceptable to in some circumstances raise a voice but I have learned with Gabs at least, it makes it more ineffective. I want her to learn obedience at my normal voice. I also read in some stuff my Elizabeth Elliot that if you really want them to hear you, then bring your voice down to a whisper. Also in regards to # 3, since I don't let the problem esclade with so many warnings, I never get to the point of being frustrated.

    Lastly, Sarah..I am sure you are a fabulous mommy. You have such a bright compassionate personality. Ivy is so lucky to have a mommy like you. And when it comes to other people, just ignore them. It annoys me to no end, when people give me death looks, like I purposely told my child to pull some kids hair, or throw that food done. Seriously, give me a break. And at least you are DOING something about it. I think the worst is when babies are obviously completely out of line, and parents just ignore the bad is doing such an injustice to the poor kid. They need loving boundaries.

    Hope this helps. Sorry it is so long. I just TOTALLY know what you are going through!

  10. I think you totally did the right thing! So many parents would have just let it go. Being consistent is the key! My girls were both fairly easy - although both did go through the "terrible 2's". Madelyn started about 18 months as well. Silas has been MUCH more of a challenge! It will get better! Just keep doing what you are doing.

  11. My oldest is the most strong-willed child ever. From 18months - 3 1/2 years of age, I was scared to death to take him out anywhere and we rarely went to restaurants that did not have a play area. Just try to be patient and realize that it's her age. She's not going to be a bad person b/c she's a strong-willed almost 2 year old. Just try to take a deep breath and LAUGH at some of the craziness...and cherish the times that she's SO well-behaved. Please know I'm not saying anything bad about Ivy girl, who I think is an ANGEL, I'm just trying to help you learn from my mistakes with Turner.

  12. Sarah... This post was hilarious! I can so picture Ella doing the same things. It's just the stage their in, but yes time out was in need! There is nothing more embarrassing I'm sure. Ella has definitely had her moments in public and spent many more moments in time out!


Thanks for your encouragement as I travel through this season of life called mommyhood!