It’s All About Reaction. And Helmets.

September 22, 2011

It was one of those moments where your heart simply bursts with pride. Your child builds her first block tower after many attempts – and leaves it standing for more than 3 seconds.

I snapped a photo while coaxing Bella to, “Wait, wait just a second, then you can knock it down.” (The number of blurry shots I got while saying that…)

No, I did not put the Oreck in there on purpose but isn't is lovely?

After, she sent the blocks sailing with her hands and shrieks of joy at how far they landed. Picking one up again, she glanced at me with a smile. I knew something special was going to happen.

I was right.

She chucked it at my head as hard as she could and then clapped as I keeled over, clutching my forehead.

Thanks to my (read it every night religiously) parenting bookย Positive Discipline, I didn’t react. I simply sat there for a moment (in pain, those Plan Toy blocks have wicked corners) analyzing what had just happened and what Positive Discipline might suggest. As corny as that sounds, it works. I knew she didn’t do it to be evil (repeat it after me – the smirk on their face is not intentional). So after a moment, I looked up and signed “Hurt” to her. She stopped clapping and looked at me in utter horror.

“Hurt?” she asked, signing it back.

I nodded. “You hurt Momma.”

I decided to go a bit further and said, “Can you say sorry to me for hurting?” I signed it to her. She thought about it for a sec, and then patted her chest signing “Sorry,” and threw her little arms around me.

And once again, my heart burst with pride. For both of us.

Baby steps people. And Baby Signing Time, but baby steps for me. :p

Also – some type of stylish parent helmet for block play time? Yes?


  • aeroseville

    September 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I started practicing this when my son was about 10 and had learned the ‘button pushing’ phrases that sent me over the edge. A therapist told me just don’t react. For a couple of weeks my son said I didn’t care about him because I wouldn’t answer him (react). After that, he quit doing it. It wa SO HARD to just stand here and smile. But what a difference!!!

  • Tracy

    September 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Love this! And please email me the name of that book you are reading. I think I’m needing some help in the discipline area ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Bethany

    September 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I love this post. I love that you are teaching her empathy (such a huge skill and she seems to have it early) while you are using PD. You are appealing to the best in her instead of the worst. Awesome. =)

    1. Diana

      September 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      It’s not always like this ๐Ÿ™‚ but it’s getting better. Thank you lady! &heart;

  • Abigail

    September 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Wow, I’m really impressed that you were able to keep you’re cool. Nothing makes me angrier than getting hit in the head. Guess I’m going to have to work on that before I decide to reproduce, huh?

    1. Diana

      September 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      I’m telling you, pain and me are not friends. It’s so hard to keep my cool when I get hurt. My first reaction is to instantly get pissed off.

      And look at me, I waited 22 months after reproducing to read this book. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Katie

    September 22, 2011 at 10:17 am

    That is amazing. Totally inspiring ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Diana

      September 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      Thank you <3

  • Adam @ Hanging with Dad

    September 22, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Congratulations! Isaac is still in the “oh look, that’s over 2 blocks tall, I’ll go destroy it” phase. He’s shown hints at maybe, potentially, someday wanting to build, but we’re not there yet.

    And maybe you can get one of those helmets that base coaches wear in the Major Leagues
    You could rock that, right?

    If you’re looking for something to really protect you from your kid, then I suggest something like this:

    1. Diana

      September 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      I laughed so hard at those links – the second one is perfect. I can’t think of a better way to play with Bella.

      She’s 22 months, it’s taken her a while to get a tower that tall. She’s done small ones, but always knocked them over before it got more than two blocks.

  • Cindy

    September 22, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I LOVE this!! It feels much better, huh?!!

    1. Diana

      September 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      It most certainly does. Sometimes I think of you in a tough situation – everything you said to me. <3 It helps.

      1. Cindy

        September 23, 2011 at 12:40 am

        <3 you my friend ๐Ÿ™‚ You are an awesome Momma! I love how you are able to share the bad, the good, and all in between! I share this stuff also with my friends and I think their words (not always what I WANT to hear, are very beneficial). We love our babies SOOO very much, that is for sure. YEP. LOVE <3

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    September 22, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Laura kicked me in the face by accident yesterday. I tried not reacting, but she decided she really liked the motion of swinging her foot through the air and crashing it against me. Sigh…

    1. Diana

      September 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

      Here’s the deal – for me? Pain = RAGE. Like, I can take almost anything but pain. It’s awful. I used to get angry instead of cry when I got hurt as a kid. That’s why I’m reading this book – it’s like my mantra when I get hurt.

      See also: freak of nature…

  • Alexia

    September 22, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Good job Mama! It is SO hard not to react and yell, but SO worth it. I’m reading Positive Discipline right now too (thanks for the suggestion) and it is like magic. My stress level has reduced considerably and I think we’re having less meltdowns. Yay for making parenting strides!

    1. Diana

      September 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      I am so excited to hear you are reading it too! Not everything in there I agree with, but most of it is very sound advice. I’ll have to chat with you about it soon.

  • Melissa

    September 22, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Super job momma, and awesome tower AND throwing ARM Bella! Her and Parker would seriously love eachother!!

    1. melissa

      September 22, 2011 at 7:47 am

      This was from me BTW

      1. Diana

        September 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm

        Lol – and somehow all anonymous posts come up with Suz’s twitter name. I can’t change it either. :/

        Yeah, Bella has a killer arm on her. For reals. She’s very athletic.

  • Sol

    September 22, 2011 at 7:21 am

    We evolve as they grow. Parenting gives us such amazing opportunities ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Diana

      September 22, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Amen – that was beautifully put Sol.

  • Jen

    September 22, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Thats great. ๐Ÿ™‚

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