The first time I realized that my baby had a temper she was three months old. From the time she was that little she absolutely hated any sort of sort, plush toy. H.A.T.E. While Kyle and I were getting ready for an outing, packing the diaper bag and putting on our shoes and such, we strapped Madeleine into her car seat and gave her a hard, plastic toy that made noise and lit up to keep her happy and distracted. When it came time to carry her car seat out to the car we decided to take her toy away because we are first time parents and don't trust anything that could leave a dent on our child during a car accident. As soon as we took the precious object out of her mouth she began to scream a scream that I had never heard before. I'd heard her hungry cry, her tired cry, her I'm awake cry, and her why'd you let that stupid nurse give me those stupid shots cry. This was different. It wasn't so much a cry as a pitiful shrieking. Kyle and I just looked at each other thinking, "Well, there is no way this is over the toy. She is only three months old. She can't possibly be having a temper tantrum." So, just to experiment, we handed the toy back. The shrieking stopped immediately.
Since we didn't want to be the type of parents that don't discipline our children, give them whatever they want because we are lazy, and have them grow up to be total brats, we took the toy away, carried her out to the car, and let the driving lull her to sleep. It was an interesting experience to say the least. I'd never heard of a three month old throwing a tantrum before. Our child is gifted.
So, flash forward to now. Our daughter takes after her mother. She is strong willed and that temper of hers, it's still there. Normally she is the sweetest, most docile, most wonderful child in the world but when something doesn't go her way all heck breaks loose. We are working with her on different types of discipline. Saying no, saying no and putting her in the play pen without her toys. After a while, she gets it. Yesterday we were getting her one year pictures done and she did not want that to happen. She cried for a bit, lied down on the floor, but eventually we coaxed her out of her mood with swinging hair and peek-a-boo and got some phenomenal photos of her. All worth it in the end.
However, the one thing she has not yet learned, and something I don't think we can or should punish her for, is her need to be on the go. I mean, the child does not want to sit still. Ever. Tonight at mass Madeleine had no patience for being confined to the pew. She wanted to get out, explore, have fun, knock over some hymnals. Kyle and I took turns chasing her around the back of the church. Someday we will force her to sit like a lady, but today she is just thirteen months old and doesn't understand. Having her at mass is always a blessing, even if I am relegated to the back of the church, because she is one of the biggest blessings in my life. If nothing else when she is with me, I am reminded of just how awesome God is and how amazing it is to be able to receive such a merciful and loving God in the Eucharist. I am confident that when I do He will fill me with the graces to be the best mother I can to my little monkey.
Being a mother is full of new challenges all the time, teaching them right from wrong and that veggies are good for them, and I know I am just beginning this journey. One of the things I love the most though is when I see her learn something I have taught her. When I say no and she stops, when I ask her to bring me a book and she does, it's just such an amazing feeling. I love being a mother.