She seems to have many in her life. Is it because she’s so darn adorable? Or is it because most of my friends have boy kiddos. Both. Interestingly, they have two responses to her.
1. Don’t take my train..It’s mine…That is my toy… Hands off. etc….
2. Complete and total hugarama. (she glances at me and her eyes say, “mom..really?”)
Then there’s Jack. Amy, my dear friend has a little guy named Jack. Tatum is in love with him! She wants to know where Jack is, will Jack be there…etc. He is quite the cutie.
And he owns a Thomas train. This is such a bonus. But….she is thinking…”Get your hands of my baby!”
Thank you, Jack.
Of course, Robert is probably going to win out because he has the coolest Thomas hat. This got her eye.
And then Jennie captured her ear with Thomas and the 10 Balloons.
The great thing about playdates is mommy does get a tad bit of adult interaction, but more importantly, we, the parental units, get to navigate our childs’ needs to HAVE IT or I WANT IT NOW. Until our kids are faced with these opportunities to practice life skills, they won’t learn until they are older. I’d rather have Tatum have the tools to be polite and gracious NOW rather than when she is in school. So I welcome BEING PRESENT when the other kids act out on her or she is impolite. Then, I can guide her through it instead of having it be a discipline issue later on.
While Tatum eats her dinner, I usually munch on chips. I know I am going to usually eat later, so I try to enjoy something with her. Nothing I eat can be ignored, so she ends up wanting some. Not wanting her to miss out on her delicious gourmet meal which I create nightly (LOL), I make her eat that first before she can enjoy a chip or two.
I figured I’d teach her a lesson on waiting and enjoying the fruits (or chips!) of that endeavor. So, while she ate her chicken/broccoli/hummus/salsa conglomeration, I placed 3 little chips under her napkin
I would not let her look at them until she was finished. She had to sit and stare at that napkin for a full 5 minutes or so. She kept wanting to peak, but I said she had to wait.
“I know Tatum, it is hard, but it will be so worth it; you are learning that patience pays off!” Oh, my wonderful words of wisdom.
As I wax eloquently, she’s shoveling in her chicken/broccoli/hummus/salsa conglomeration. So, I don’t know if I’m teaching her patience or speeding through her dinner at lightning speed to get to the good stuff. Hmmmm…
I have never forced it. If anything, I just model it (A LOT) since I tend to tend to the lavatory more than most.
After Tatum eats breakfast, she usually has to be changed. It’s like clockwork within an hour. Today, as we were leaving for art class, she said, “Change the diaper? Poo poo.” I went over to her and there was no poo in her diaper. Hmmmm. I then said, “Do you have to go poo poo?” She said a clear, “Yes.” So, I then asked her if she’d like to go upstairs to her potty. She said she did and we ran up.
Of course I went with her, and as I did my thing, she did her thing. Voila!
(The lovely graphic within the throne has been removed to protect the eye of the reader.) I made a huge deal of it and told everyone today. Such a nice conversation to discuss with others…it is when you are a proud mommy. It’s the little things, right?
Found an old cell phone..you know, those flip ones you felt so cool f’alippin? Tatum discovered this thrill, along with the excitement of raising the antenna. Unfortunately she was driving while talking, and that is a NO NO!
One of her favorite things to do is talk on the phone. Any phone. Shoot, it could be a banana and she’d pretend it’s a phone. Is this a sign of things to come? All I know is she LOVES to talk. When on the phone, she says BYE BYE. When she is just talking to herself around the house, she ends it with Amen. In other words…”So be it!!” This little spitfire is going to be a leader. I need to channel her NEED to LEAD in a positive direction and not a bossy one. Definitely she is not a follower!
One thing I had right on the money, was putting this tent in her room.
What does she like to do in it? Read, of course. It becomes the little Tatum cave of comfort. Mommy has to fit in it now too. If I want to sit in her room with her, she makes me sit inside with her. So, the laptop or my book goes in with me, sitting next to the up and down Tot. (she gets UP to get a new book and sits DOWN every minute!)
It’s a good thing I found a way to buy bulks of Thomas books. The minute they arrived in the puffy orange envelope, she forced me to open it and started reading before dinner. She got through every one in hmmmm…2 minutes flat. Amazing! (LOL)
This little talkative, tent-sitting, Thomas reading Tatum continues to challenge me in every way. Not in a bad sense at all. She inspires me to step up my parenting skills of helping her learn, strongly grow, love deeply, and give abundantly. One day at a time.
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10!” She smiles as she completes the series of numbers. Counting up the stairs, counting chips, counting her books..it’s all counting. She says, “no 7 and 8.” It’s as if she has decided that she does not want to conform to the way to count to 10.
Yesterday, I felt defeated. Why? Because if I said up she’d say down. If I said blue, she’d say red. If I said, “7 and 8” she’d say “no 7 and 8″…
Today, I decided and well, after much prayer and asking for help from HIM, I approached today differently.
I gave more choices.
(this little fireball wants things her way..and I have to work with that.)
I looked for other ideas for ways to get Tatum more involved and excited. (We went to the park with the ball, and I let her run!!! (Not away!!! 🙂
This led me down a path of reading multiple blogs. Positive idea? Nope. I just felt more guilty and ill-equipped, but after again, much prayer…I found some takeaways.
1. We need to get out more. She needs to see the sights outside. However, she wants to walk and be in control. So, I found a way for us to hike but with her both walking and me carrying her. The Boba seems to be a great idea. It can handle up to 45 lbs and she can be carried on my back. Very fun!! We can start hiking.
2. Perhaps she could do some imagination ideas. I think a tent would be perfect. She could hide in it with some pillows, perhaps sleep in it, and maybe do some playing. Man, there are a zillion ways to make a tent, but I settled on just buying a pop tent that can be moved to different spaces.
We shall see how she likes it.
All I know is that I need to stay one step ahead with her swift learning and new ways to deal with her independence. As long as she can say NO with kindness and I can respond with Yes, you can when…. The less I can say NO the better model I can be. NO is saved for serious issues.
Today, we played “what did I take away?” I put up a series of pictures and had her guess which one I took away. This tested her ST memory. She loved it because she thought I could no way outsmart her. After winning multiple times, she tested mine and took one away. Brilliant way to keep her engaged.
So, back to the giving her choices…with this, she will learn I love her and HEAR her, but I am still in charge. The minor things she can have charge! (toothpaste colors, which baba, what color bow, which shoes, in 5 minutes or now, 2 or 3 books…etc) She feels heard, honored, and understood. It’s a win win.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. She might not say 7 and 8, but I will continue to say how much I appreciate 7 and 8. If I say, NO 7 and 8, she may want to include it in her counting repertoire. Hmmm…
“NO! Tata do it!!!” This comes screeching out of her mouth more often than I would like. However, I love it. She wants to be her own person. She’s pretty staunch on what she wants when she wants it. There is a respect and honor factor to consider. HOW do you say “Tata do it.”? HOW do you say “NO!” HOW do you say, “MINE!”
This is where the turning and learning comes in. I have to turn those statements into polite requests or kind No thank you’s.
All the lead and coloring was worth the work…. I have completed the CORE Value and Mission Wall! The matting is still to be desired. I am going with the “included whitish mat” within the IKEA frame. I first had to shrink the lettering to fit this (unless I wanted to pay for a store-created frame) and I had to enlarge the middle mission. Fun at Kinko’s!
First: In the middle is the Mission Statement:
“Let your Light Shine…You were created for a purpose.” inspired by:
Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Tatum has her whole life ahead of her, and as she walks through it, she should let her stunning light shine! Her purpose will be revealed as she walks in the LIGHT.
The light that comes from Christ living inside of her. Whatever her purpose is, it is God ordained and FOR HIS GLORY. May she discover this! 🙂
THE CORE VALUES
On the left, to HONOR (God, self, others) Inspired by
Ps 86:10-12: For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord; that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
I desire for her (and our family) to Honor God with her whole heart, to honor herself (body and mind), walking in truth, and to honor others, showing respect coming from her heart.
Next, LOVE, inspired by
Mark 11-13: “Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.””
I desire for her (and our family) to LOVE God with her whole heart, to love herself, and to love others, no matter if she agrees with them or not.
Thirdly, to LEARN (from), inspired by
Proverbs 1:5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance
I desire for her (and our family) to LEARN from Jesus by seeing and hearing about his example. Then to learn from herself…her mistakes and failures…that she can get back up and become better with them. Then, from others. We value being a life-long learner, whatever she chooses!
Finally, to LAUGH (with), inspired by
Proverbs 17:22: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
I desire for her (and our family) to LAUGH with Jesus by enjoying him and basking in His delight for her. Then to be able to laugh at herself and not take herself too seriously. Finally, develop a fine sense of humor so she can laugh with others and enjoy life.
Altogether, we have the walls that talk and inspire:
May you be richly blessed, my dear Tatum, as you walk this life with faith, hope and LOVE. XOXO