Well, April is coming to a close and it's been a busy month.
Trips to the zoo. A fun photo session for Nixon. Easter Sunday, which while it meant nothing to us on a religious level, we did spend with good friends and even had an egg hunt. A grand reveal of Nixon's backyard sandbox. Unfortunately it was given to him at the very beginning of the rainy season here, so it's tucked under the tarp I bought for it until the next sunny, or at the very least mostly dry, day.
Those are just some of the highs we've had this month.
But for every high there have been lows.
Temper tantrums, hitting, throwing things and other loveliness all courtesy of the "Terrible Twos". This is a constant source of worry for me. Nixon's so laid back that punishing him leaves him, mostly, unfazed. For throwing objects, the toy he's thrown gets taken away. For hitting, he goes into Time Out. He bit me once and was promptly flicked in the mouth. NOT enough to hurt him but enough that he hasn't tried it again.
The problem is: he doesn't care! He sits in Time Out quietly until we go and get him. He's quick with the hug and "I'm sorry" then off he goes.
Taking things away still doesn't really upset him, because he's got so much. I know I need to weed out his toys, again. My hope is, that without so many toy options, removing one will have a bigger impact on him.
** Confession time: I once sent him to his bedroom, as a punishment. It was too effective. He behaved but he was also terrified of his bedroom! That, while it would seem a perfect solution, is not one I can make a punishment option. He needs one safe haven of his own, he's chosen his bedroom.
It's a struggle, to be a good mother and still be strong enough to say "no" and mean it. How easy would my life as a mom be if I caved and let Nixon do whatever he wanted to do? Sure, my life would be easy, but would it be fair to Nixon? Not really. He'd have everything he wanted until he got to school and then he'd be dealing with boundaries and sharing and hearing no. Ultimately, I have to be confidant enough to set those boundaries now and face the fallout. Afterall, Nixon wasn't born knowing what is expected from him but as his parents we know what to teach him and how we want him to behave. He's an amazingly polite little kid. He says "please" and "thank you" now with very little prompting. When in the stores, he'll say "excuse me" as we pass almost anyone close or not! We're working on "I'm sorry" and "you're welcome".
During his bedtime story today, Nixon saw a moon in the book I was reading. Instead of his usual "moon, momma, dats da moon!" he pointed and said "luna, momma, luna!". Its hard to read with tears forming in your eyes. I spend a little time teaching Nixon some simple Spanish words. Luna is moon in Spanish. I got the same sense of accomplishment hearing Nixon say "luna" as I do when he replies "bueno" and "muy bien" (apologies for the spelling errors, its been a long time since I've spelled anything in Spanish) to a question I've asked him. I know he's listening and learning from me. For better or worse, he's learning from me.
Nixon's smile during his bunny photo shoot.
Nixon on the merry-go-round at the zoo.
Nixon finding eggs during our backyard egg hunt.
Nixon having fun in his sandbox for the first time.