We have moved on to that super fun part of parenting where we have to start disciplining. Not every one of Ellie's problem can be solved with a diaper change or a feeding. Now, there is whining. There are wants that cannot be met. There are neeeeeeeeeeeds that have to be ignored, because sorry, you can't pet Lulu while she's trying to use the litterbox. Cry all you want kid!
I always felt like my parents were strict but fair growing up, and I'd like to hope I'll be the same to Ellie. We are trying not to use the "smack the kid around" school of discipline, which leaves us with 1) ignoring her behavior and letting her be some wild, untamed hippie brat or 2) having to use our words with her (sometimes sternly) and administer time outs. The latter strategy seems to be working pretty okay. She knows what behavior earns her an instant time out (hitting, kicking, generally being a horrible, mean little child) and even though time out means being put in a room by herself for literally, a grand total of 30 seconds, the threat of such a wretched fate usually causes her to straighten right up.
We also spend a lot of time saying things like, "how do you ask?" (prompting her to say please) "please use your listening ears" and a lot of "I can't hear you when you whine like that."
So, yesterday morning she started whining to watch the Cat in the Hat. I told her no, we weren't going to watch Cat in the Hat until after our walk (ie: when I need to take a shower and have the television baby sit her.) She kept asking, so the conversation quickly went from "not until after our walk" to just "mommy told you no!" When she kept whining, I picked her up, plopped her on the step in the foyer and explained "mommy told you no Cat in the Hat. You need to use your listening ears. Mommy said no," and then walked away, and ignored her. She sat on the step for a good five minutes, just whining and weeping. When she calmed down, I asked her if she wanted to read a book, and she wiped her snotty nose on the back of her hand, came over and climbed in my lap to read the Poky Little Puppy. But on her way across the living room, she told me "I sit on big step. I cwy. I sit on big step and I cwy." She also made sure to tell Cara that she'd sat and cried when we met for our walk a half hour later. Because you know, I am SO cruel and mean.
The good news is, when I made her explain to Gigi why she sat and cried, she told Gigi that she'd cried because she hadn't used her listening ears. Thank goodness some of it is finally sinking in.