And here it is

Jessica is imitating us more and more every day. What we say, how we say it, what we do with out faces and hands. Although she refuses to sign “please” for me, or anything for that matter.
We consistently are signing when we feed her; “Eat”, “Drink”, “More”, “Please”, “Thank you” and “All Done”. We’ve been signing Eat, Drink and More since she was about 3 or 4 months old. And Milk – which she’s mastered, however I’m no longer breastfeeding so that one has gone by the wayside.
I explain to her, frequently, that I can’t understand crying and then I show her the sign for what it is she’s wailing about, pointing at or convulsing towards. But all she’ll do in response is smile, usually for ‘Yes, you got it! That IS what I want … now give it to me’ or she’ll shake her head “no” which means, ‘Sure, ok, so that’s what it means – but I’m still not signing for it, no. Just put it in my mouth already.’
I do feel that we’re getting close to the day when she’ll surprise the socks off Aaron and myself by actually signing when she’s hungry and wants to eat or when she’s thirsty and needs a drink or when the food is gone but she’s not done and wants more. Which, ok, I have to give her credit for trying in that area – it looks like clapping to her, which she does often while we feed her – as if to say ‘please don’t stop feeding me, keep it comin’. More, more, more’. And for that we applaud back at her.
But alas, she has spoken her first word. It wasn’t the token ‘daddy’ or ‘mommy’, it wasn’t the occasional ‘no’ or the famous pet’s name (we don’t have one) it was, and this is completely adorable, “UH-OH”.
“Uh-oh” when she drops something, “Uh-oh” when she falls, “Uh-oh” when her baby falls. “Uh-oh”. Complete with surprise in her eyes and the formation of “O” with her mouth. And it usually ends with her looking up or at either Aaron or myself like she needs to be reassured that it was an Uh-oh moment and, wow, she knew exactly what it was.
In this new phase of communication we’re also getting frustrated. Or, Jessica is getting frustrated. And rightfully so. I’m sure she has thoughts and wants and needs that go unnoticed through out the day and she has almost no way of letting me know what it is or that I missed it.
Like in the checkout at Wal Mart today. Yeah, I was THAT mom with the screaming baby. The one whose child is trying madly to be released from the cart, who wants everything on the conveyor belt to be in her mouth THIS INSTANT. I was the mom trying to quietly, yet very firmly, let my infant know how unacceptable this kind of behavior was – and we had an audience.
If it weren’t for Thanksgiving and my bringing dishes for dinners I would have picked her up and left.
When I was younger and went to the store with my mom, we just knew with every cell in our little bodies that we were NOT allowed to ask for anything or throw a fit in the store. I’ve asked my mom on more than one occasion – how the hell she put the fear of God in us to obey in public places. And my mom, being the woman of God herself that she is, and the homemaker that she is, and the mother that she is, just sweetly replies – You were not allowed to. (Period)
She elaborates and tells us that we all threw one fit, tantrum, convulsion, screamed bloody murder, cried for toys or candy, acted like the spoiled brats we were trying to get away with being. One.
And this is all when we were old enough to understand that most actions have consequences – but the punishment sure wasn’t worth going through more than once for a Butterfinger or Barbie. We got the look of death, which every mom has, and only when the look of death means actual possible death does it have any weight on the child’s actions. No empty threats people, look of death meant we’re in trouble. And we better act like freakin angels so she’ll forget we ever caused any pain, to anyone.
When we got in the car we either got the look of death some more, or the talk. And the talk for me was enough to send me into perfectionism at every outing. I don’t like it when some one is mad at me, and it’s worse when I know I deserve it. But we probably also got a spanken when we got home and that also meant business.
I full heartedly plan to execute this same pattern of discipline with my kids – why? BECAUSE IT FRIGGIN’ WORKS.

One thought on “And here it is

  1. oh, Jodi! you make me laugh and cry all at the same time! Laugh because of how you relate our “store-scene” happenings and cry because I miss some of those “good ‘ole days”
    I love you and I love watching you parent my grandbaby!

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