I am your mother

8 months and you finally resemble me, your mother. Thank you. It’s taken some time, but it’s been time well spent. And FINALLY you let the Broersma genes within you seep out into your button nose and mischievous eyes. (Which are totally your fathers fault … )
Today we went to see Grandma Boeve at work and you stopped the entire office with your free standing and dimples.
In the past month you’ve gotten your 2 bottom teeth, the front left before the front right. You’ve started free standing, and you LOVE it. You crawl all over the house and get into all sorts of things you’re not supposed to. You like the DVD player, which is a big no-no and the fireplace is of new curiosity.
Today you found the stairs, and you actually climbed up one. I didn’t know whether or not to scold you or to congratulate you, so I distracted you with the laundry.
I don’t know if it’s just me, not having significant amounts of adult conversation or contact during the day, or if I’m actually feeling this correctly

– but you’ve become a little whiny. And I usually ignore it and go on about my business or play with you for a few minutes.
I couldn’t figure it out – why you were whining, and then I remembered something from my childhood. Something I always thought was very clever, and didn’t really know about until later in life when I could understand it.
We weren’t aloud to whine when we were little, and that’s not in a nazi way. We had manners and we knew our boundaries. But it wasn’t a harsh line, there were those times when the line was very black and white – but most of all it was fun to “play with in the rules”. Life was comfortable; there was order and peace.
My mom would be goofy – like no tomorrow. When we hit our head or scraped our knee, she would spank the coffee table or floor. When we were whining, she would sing a silly song or pull a silly face to get us to think about something else. She was a nut – some of my fondest memories of my childhood are those of my mom just being a kid right along side of me.
I’ve seen her do it with my nieces and nephews too, and this tactic really works. So I tried it today when I thought you were particularly whinny. And … drum roll … IT WORKED.
I also spanked the floor after you fell, which you thought was ok until I did it again, thinking … maybe she’ll laugh. Yeah, you started crying again, ooops. But I felt like I was making a break through.
I thought I was helping you by ignoring the whining – you know, just let it go mentality. She’ll realize it’s not getting her anywhere sort of thing. But all I was really doing was, I think, making you feel “left out”, like your feelings didn’t matter, that I didn’t care. And I do.
So I was very excited when this worked. Being goofy, pulling funny faces, stopping to sing a silly song or make a mess with water in the kitchen or unfold the folded laundry. Because having fun is the best part about being a mom.
And Jessica, how I love being your mom. You are very precious.
Ma-ma-ma-ma (in your words)

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