Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Do Declare, My Purslane Claire

The last few weeks have been rough around Chez Martsolf. I was reading back over some posts and there isn't a whole lot of positivity or excitement being directed towards my main gig of parenting. It has been a bit of a slog recently, truth be told. Purslane is turning 3 next month and I have noticed that my parenting of her has become much more mental rather than physical. I used to be able to give a command and she could either obey and life would go on peacefully, or she could refuse and life would stop while she sat in time out for a few minutes. The girl hates missing any action, so time outs have worked very well as correction for her. We call it a "reset" or "time by yourself", trying to make the point that we expect things to be different after her time alone on the step or in her room.

But around a month ago, I began noticing that instead of choosing a path (i.e. responding with yes or no) she was asking questions about my instruction, her actions and the overall progression of life in the universe. She wanted to know WHY. And as a parent, you can tell the difference between a stall tactic and a legit curiosity, and my gal was trying to figure things out. She truly wanted to know.

Why can't I push Knox down a flight of steps? He looks funny when he rolls.
Why do I have to hold your hand when crossing the street? I like to run fast.
How come I have to strap in my car seat before you will turn this car on? I can't put my hands in my pockets when I am strapped in.
I like bread. Why do I have to eat my raviolis and green beans instead of another piece of bread?

My favorite response of all time has been, "But it makes me sad when you say no. I want you to say yes because that makes me happy. So can you say yes?"

This stage of parenting is intense. It would be so much easier to just say "because". And that is appropriate sometimes, right? Like when in order to keep her and Knox safe, I must require her to follow my direction without questioning. And she may not understand or want to do it, but she must learn to respond immediately to my instruction. It is also appropriate to teach her that some things she can't do now but Mama and Daddy can do because we are adults and can make that decision for ourselves. It is called situational appropriateness and it is a tough concept for ME to understand. How much more for a tiny person who wants to eat up life on her favorite red plastic spoon and is constantly being stopped by two people who claim to love her??

All that to say that parenting a three year old is serious business and there have been very few days that I have felt up to doing the constant explaining for her outside in the wide world. We have spent a lot of days in the house or in the backyard. Add to that the gray Pittsburgh winter and a Knox man who is quickly losing his hesitancy about climbing steps and jumping off of things, and you have a Mama who has a beer a little BEFORE 5p.

But it's good. She is learning and developing and challenging and growing and exploring, and it blows my mind that she is ours. She is so cool.

Here are some bits of Purslane Claire goodness that went unsung over the past few weeks.
Big Girl eatin' breakfast at the counter
Tim Gunn would say "make it work!"

Painting Daddy's birthday card

If her career in fashion doesn't pan out, cake decorating is a done deal.

Creepy Teri eating steak, egg and tomato soup. With a spatula.

Remember these awesome Magic Wands? I had one when I was younger...might have convinced Pursy this was the toy she wanted from the Science Center.

My reward for making blueberry waffles.

She LOVES playing Cooties. She also likes to cheat.

Watching Yo Gabba Gabba and making funny faces.

I found this in my lunch bag at work. Sweet girl packed me a fork and clementine.

My centerpiece didn't have enough flair. Pursy took matters into her own hands.

My Beautiful Girl.

1 comment:

  1. Every one of these made me smile! You're a beautiful Mama to this beautiful little lady and I love that you take to heart the answers you give to her little questions about big things