In light of the recent failure in appropriate behavior in my home, I've been reflecting on my own parenting styles. I'm realizing that my first impulse these days is to YELL. I don't know that it's my preference necessarily as much as it is my natural instinct. When kids don't listen it seems that talking louder will rectify the problem. There's a failure in logic here and thanks to Caillou's mom, I've learned the error of my ways.
You may have seen Caillou on PBS or what my kids call "PBSKids.org" because of their constant advertising of their website. She is so calm. When Caillou was BANGING on a drum and not listening, she calmly approached him and asked him politely to stop. At my current emotional I might have thrown the drumstick across the room and sent Caillou to his room.
I don't know what kind of help Mrs. Caillou has around the house but she seems to have endless time to spend one on one with Caillou. I guess the baby is left up in the crib while Mommy and Caillou take a trip to the Library. Anyway, there the two of them held hands and toured the Library. When Caillou was too loud the mom said, "Shh, Caillou. We need to use our quiet voices in a library. People are reading." Then they stopped by story time and also picked out books. Mrs. Caillou was calm and collected the whole time, patiently correcting Caillou when he needed it. I can promise you that my visits (with 3 kids under 5) never go the way Caillou's did.
Yes, I would love to have a visit to the library with one child, being able to pick out books and hold hands. Maybe next year when the twins are in school Little Dude will benefit from being a singleton, finally. We'll see.
As time marches on, I realize that there is a bit of jealousy in me. It stems from never having only one child. When I embarked on parenthood, it greeted me with 2 screaming babies. There was no switching off from mom to dad when a baby was fussy. Our hands were full from day one. As toddlerhood advanced, I was constantly scurrying to make sure no one broke anything or drank any poison. Currently in the preschool years, I go from bedroom to bedroom practicing reading lessons with my 5 year olds.
I will never know what it is to have just one child but on the bright side, I'll never know what it's like to have 3 or 4 screaming babies at once either. Always looking on the bright side. Thank you Mrs. Caillou for your lessons in parenthood.