Last night Papa Urchin — in a rare moment of hard-nosedness — took away a whole bunch of Katie’s toys. I had told her five minutes earlier to not dump them out of their storage container because it was time to head upstairs for bed. As is the case with a three year old, she waited for me to get to the second floor and then up-ended the container. So she was given a certain amount of time on the timer and what she didn’t pick up was taken away — this ended up being most of the dumped toys. After she was in bed Stefan put them in a plastic grocery bag on the counter, so she can see them and be taunted — it took him a really long time to get home from work yesterday so he was in a bad mood. But here’s the thing, he left this morning for work and I got stuck with the three year old and the bag of toys. All morning our conversations went like this…
Mommy, I need the chairs for Dora to sit on.
Where are they?
In the bag Daddy took from me.
Mommy, I can’t cut this [play] bread.
Where is the [play] knife?
Daddy took it.
It seems to me parenting is often about how you deal with your partner’s parenting. One parent does things one way and the other doesn’t and the kid is left wondering what they were supposed to do. Last weekend Stefan told Katie if she didn’t listen there would be no TV for the rest of the day. Later I told him, That’s easy for you to say, you’re not the one who has to watch her while nursing Tristan. He said he had realized this too late — he had already made the threat and we’re both in agreement that if you say you’re going to do something you’d better follow through.
And I admit it goes both ways. When carrying a baby on my shoulder I generally carry them on my left shoulder. Stefan prefers to carry a baby on his right shoulder, but both of our children prefer(red) being carried on the left because of me. Stefan and Katie got into an argument recently because she wanted grated cheese on top of her macaroni and cheese lunch. Stefan said no but I usually do it if she asks because, for me, it isn’t a battle I need to fight — at least she’s not insisting on M&Ms on top. And so it will be for the rest of our lives…
So today I sat down on Katie’s bed to read her a story before her nap and she says Mommy, I need to move the pillow down so we can lay next to eachother on our tummies. I was instructed where to put the book so we could both see and we snuggled while settling down for a nap and I thought Well, Daddy certainly has this one right.