Let me start this post with a disclaimer: I am by no means an authority figure on discipline, nor on the "best" way to manage children. (Especially since the "best" seems to frequently shift.) However, I am well-educated, read quite a bit, and have plenty of experience in working with kids. Part of my master's work consisted of courses on behavioral approaches, for goodness sake. But again, I am not an expert. I'm just a mom with a strong background in education and TONS of experience with children of all ages.
Further, I came to the realization long ago that I would inevitably end up being Mean Mommy and Tim would get to be Fun Daddy. This has more or less held true. I am okay with this, for the most part. After all, Carol is with me most of the day, and she needs to have consistent boundaries and routine put in place, particularly as she is in the midst of Toddlerdom. I'd like to believe I'm firm, but loving. And occasionally rather goofy.
Having said that, I begin my tale...
While getting ready for naptime this afternoon, Carol and I sat down in the ol' rocking chair to read Froggy Goes to Bed, chosen over Goodnight Moon. She decided three pages in to the story, that she wasn't satisfied with sitting in my lap, so she arched her back, stood up, and titled her head back, until she and I were cheek to cheek. With a wide, goofy grin plastered across her face. Then her neck was on my cheek, etc. She was giggling uncontrollably the entire time. My first instinct was to remind her that we sit on our boopah to listen to the story.
And I told her so.
She complied for about two sentences. Then she went right back to giggling uncontrollably, with her cheek against mine. I calmly made a few attempts to remind her to sit, so we could read the story. But I felt it rising up in me. Like a bubble coming up from my chest, I simply couldn't hold it in.
The giggles. So there I was, after trying to be serious and straight-faced, giggling uncontrollably with my daughter. It felt great. Oh! It felt so good to just let go!
Sometimes as a parent, especially the one who deals with the day-to-day grind, it's so easy to get caught up in doing what's "right" (whatever that might look like), and over look these sweet moments. My busy, wiggly daughter is not a cuddliest cuddlebug, but she does like to do quick snuggles now and then. Thus, I must learn to embrace those times, live in the moment, and just go with the giggles.
I constantly strive to strike a balance between setting routines and consistent boundaries for Carol, while also maintaining a sense of humor, and nurturing her goofy side. Afterall, goofy parents tend to have goofy children, right? (As a fellow teacher once exclaimed: "apples don't make peaches!") Goodness knows, I don't want to abandon my goofy side, so I should certainly encourage the goofiness ingrained in my daughter!
For the record, after our giggly fit, we settled back in and finished reading Froggy, told him goodnight, and settled in to our crib. She was out within five minutes.