For a while I've been convinced that talking to the wall or my shoes would be of bigger impact than talking to Noelle. It feels like I tell her fifty times a day 1) don't pull your brother down 2) don't grab things from him 3) be gentle, don't squish him 4) don't hit your brother, that's not nice and 5) if you have an accident I'm going to be very upset with you. Before anyone thinks I'm punishing her for having an accident, it's in the context of accidents that happen outside of nap time. When she knows full well she needs to use the potty but can't be bothered to stop what she's doing to go. Still, not my finest moment of parenting saying that.... Well, this weekend I got confirmation that while she was listening, she had no intention of actually following my directions.
While she was using the potty, she said to me in all seriousness "Mommy, I no have an accident." "That's great sweetie, I'm really proud of you." "Mommy, if you have an accident, I'll be so mad at you!" *Insert mental cringing here* "If I have an accident baby, you have every right to be mad at me." Man, I felt bad. Now every time she goes to the potty, she tells me that she didn't have an accident. I'm really proud of her but man, what have I done? I know that it happens and when I said it I was frustrated as it was her second accident in 4 hours but the last thing that I wanted her to do was fixate on it. I only wanted her to be more aware. I'm so glad that I didn't say anything to put her down or make her feel bad, just expressed disappointment and she doesn't seem to be too traumatized by it though I'm sure the therapy bills in the years to come will be huge.
She's also been giving me advice on how to take care of a baby. "Mommy, you don't hit the baby. You can kiss the baby. You can cuddle the baby. You can pet the baby but you don't hit the baby. If you hit the baby, I'll be so mad at you!" And I agree with her wholeheartedly "You are so right baby, we never hit a baby. If anyone ever hits a baby you should be mad at them!" Though so far this maternal concern has only applied to her baby doll. We've yet to see this sentiment applied to her little brother who has, fortunately and unfortunately, reached the age where Yay! he can play somewhat now and Crap, he can get into her business and really piss her off.
Tangent 1: the music table just decided to start playing by itself. That's not scary at all. Good thing I had peed already as I would have had an accident and incurred the sanctimonious wrath of a 3 going on 13 year old.
Tangent 2: for the past two nights, she has been sleeping in her sleeping bag. On the floor. No particular reason other than she saw it in her closet and wanted to sleep in it. Indulgent parenting or wise selection of battles? Discuss.
Thankfully she shows that she listens in other less guilt-inducing ways. She clears her plate off the table now and puts it in the sink, she almost always says 'please' and 'thank you' and even once when I took her with me to get a new bathing suit, she said to me while I was changing, "Mommy, you are so pretty." Yeah, I think I'll keep her. And watch my mouth since I know now she's listening.