Monday, September 17, 2012

Bad Mama Moment

Do you ever have one of these? Bad Mama moments? I definitely had one this morning. This past weekend we headed up to Cleveland for Nai Nai's 70th birthday. It was really wonderful to be there, but one difficult thing was Taran's interactions with our younger niece who is the same age as Taran. Multiple times over the weekend he would snatch whatever toy she was playing with out of her hand leading to an explosion of tears. Taran would instantly try to repent, forcefully shoving the object back into her hand which would only cause more tears and a very perplexed expression on his face.."but Mama, I tried to do the right thing"... I felt a little bit bad that I had somehow failed on teaching better socialization skills.

So this morning, I made a point of working on "No grabbing" with him. My first brilliant idea was to take a toy I thought he would be interested in and play with it very animatedly in the hope that he would try to snatch it at which point I could dialogue with him about not taking toys others were playing with. Of course, he had zero interest in what I was playing with. So then I attempted to snatch away the toy he was playing with - a little blue wax balloon on a small wooden stick. (Note to self: Never try to teach good behavior by modeling bad behavior. Reeeeeally bad idea). I don't know if the stick scratched him a little as I removed it from his hand or what, but he totally burst into tears and instantly crawled into my lap for comfort. I can't tell you what a big monster I felt like then. I wasn't expecting his reaction at all because he doesn't cry easily. I  thought he'd just get a little miffed and then I could apologize and tell him that I was sorry that I grabbed without asking and that asking would have been the nice thing to do. Sigh. Lesson learned. By me. Needless to say it was really hard to pack up my stuff and leave the house for work ten minutes later. I guess I should be a little bit gentler on both him and myself. Perfection isn't really the goal for either of us, just a willingness to learn from mistakes.

On Saturday morning of our visit, we had a family photographer come to shoot pictures of the extended family. Trying to get two toddlers to stand still in one place, looking in the same direction was a bit like herding cats so I wasn't a big fan of the posed pictures at all, but the photographer also gave us the opportunity to  do some candids with the smaller nuclear families. I shyly grabbed my own camera at this point and tried to snap a few myself and luckily, rather than giving me a disparaging look, the photographer was nice enough to ask me about my camera and give me some tips on how to shoot in the early morning light. I wish I could have shadowed him all morning. Here are a couple of shots I got of the girls and Uncle Matt:

I tried to get some of Taran as well all dressed up, but he wasn't too game. He had some sort of tummy bug this weekend (projectile vomiting in the carseat one exit from Cleveland, explosive diarrhea in his crib at nap time) so he wasn't feeling overly cooperative and definitely wanted lots of extra snuggles. I did get this one though which I think captures how fragile he was feeling that day.

Ack. Sometimes I feel such an incredible pang of love when I see him that it's like having a sucking chest wound.


  1. oh the grabbing and snatching. it's such a pain isn't it? i think particularly for us introvert mamas who are MORTIFIED that our child is doing something to draw attention to us - and something negative at that! maren has a very strong personality and although she loves interacting with adults, we are still working on how to 'play nicely' with age mates. i agree with what you said - we have to be gentle on each other while still being consistent with guiding appropriate behavior. such a tricky balance. sometimes i find myself ready to light my hair on fire when it happens! haha! on a brighter note...lovely, lovely photos. hope taran is feeling better! love yoU!

    1. Sarah,
      Yeah, definitely not a fan of the grabbing and snatching. At least I can chalk it up to him being unconscious rather than mean. I can work with that. And luckily he's really a sweet, affectionate little soul so he tries to make up for his behavior afterwards with hugs, kisses, gentle pats.... of course that can be problematic too if the recipient is wanting space. Sigh. Still, I'll take it.
      Thanks for asking about Taran. We did have another incident of explosive poop at nap time yesterday which was really traumatizing for Taran - he was so hysterical and it took a really long time to soothe him. I'm hoping he's on the mend today. Being sick is no fun for anyone. Speaking of which, how are you feeling these days. Thinking about you lots. Lets talk really soon. xoxo

  2. At the risk of sounding callous and like I take pleasure from your pain... we love reading your posts. I read them out loud to Mom and Brian and we all laugh (empathetically) as you share these snippets of your life. Who hasn't made similar mistakes when trying to teach someone else a life lesson? Try not to beat yourself up. Tartan knows how well loved he is. No doubt about it at all!

    I hope this is a great week for you all. Hugs and love! Linda

    1. Anything I can do to make you all smile. ;)
      I feel the same say when I read your blog. I always get such a chuckle over your gardening misadventures. Did you plant anything for fall. We did and get four lovely days of rain. I was so excited about the baby seedlings that popped up. Then a bunch of flour beetles showed up and devoured everything. Soooo sad and too late to replant. I actually find myself wishing for a really bitter winter so that herbivory isn't so bad next year. Hugs and love back to you and Brian. xoxo

  3. Hey Rebecca,
    What a heartfelt blog post! Parenting is so tough and the little ones seem to be an ever moving target, there's always something to work on. Anyways, thanks as always for making the drive up here and we loved getting to see you all. I'm confident that the cousins will all be good buds in time. We'll work on our little screaming banshee while you guys work on T's grabbing. I tried to do a little role playing with stuffed animals the other day to teach J about what it must look like to others when she goes into screaming mode...Alligator walked up to Elephant and then I had Elephant start wailing "I DON'T WANT TO PLAY!!! DADDYDADDYDADDY! WAAAH!" She looked up at me with a puzzled expression on her face and I don't think she knew what I was trying to get across at all. Ah well! Hope T is feeling better and we'll see you sometime soon!
    BTW great pictures you took!