Our daughter has started saying “I love you Daddy” and “I love you Mommy.” As you can imagine, it melts our hearts.
It’s crazy how she has started to put words together in such a short time. I mean, I thought it was going to take longer for her vocabulary to come along. Nothing is wrong with her; but I don’t know, being a new dad means I wasn’t sure how long these things take. I guess I should do some more reading on her developmental stages.
Those books are cool, but what if I read and she should be even further along than she is now? See, I’m getting myself all worked up. Worrying, you know? I get it from my mother, ha ha!
It’s pretty amazing — not that long along this little person was dependent on us for everything. Of course, she needs us to survive but she is coming into her personality and knowing herself more and more each day. I always kid with my wife saying, “Well, before you know it Simone will be 35.” She hates it when I say that. I probably should stop saying that.
Still, our little girl is growing up. We’ve embraced the next big step in this stage of her life (and in ours). I am talking about the notorious potty-training stage. So we put Simone in her (as she likes to call them) “Elsa panties,” from the Disney movie “Frozen” in case you’ve been living under a rock with no access to media. As you can imagine, this made me super nervous. I mean, we have carpets throughout our apartment. I was looking forward to finding an unwelcome surprise. My wife and I waited 1 minute or so, carefully watching her walk around. Nothing. No accidents. Phew. We are good!
Then low and behold, my wife screams, “No Simone! In the bathroom, not on the carpet!” We spy a little wet spot on the living room carpet. After my wife rushed her to the bathroom throne, she did have a couple drops come out. This was good, so we celebrated. “Yay!!!” my wife and I yelled. It wasn’t quite the 100% accomplishment that we would have hoped for, but it’s a start.
Within the book “Positive Disicipline,” it talks about parents finding other alternatives to punishment. I could have easily punished Simone for peeing on the carpet, but that will have long term effect. She’ll remember that punishment the next times she has an accident on the floor during this potty training journey. This book also talks about giving your child a “sense of belonging and significance” to help them overcome obstacles. “Punishment does not give children a sense of belonging and significance,” says author Jane Nelsen. Celebrating her success by yelling “Yay,” well, I’m hoping that gives Simone a sense of belonging and significance.
It all goes back to having patience during the different stages that our children go through as they develop mentally, emotionally and physically. I am learning to be patient with myself as a new dad. It’s even more challenging to be patient with my child because I want so badly for her be on our society-induced level of “doing things the right way.” Whether that’s eating properly at the table, listening to directions or going to the bathroom in the proper place, this pressure for our kids to be doing the right thing feels strong. But growing takes time. Potty-training takes a long time. Becoming the dad I want to be certainly takes patience and learning. It all takes time. Whew. Maybe I should borrow a phrase from that Elsa princess chick, and let it go! We’ll get there. And then Simone will be 35. Ha.