Tonight, after going through the usual bedtime routine, I was rocking Jenna before putting her in bed. She was totally relaxed against me with her head resting on my shoulder and I thought she was almost asleep. She hadn’t made a peep for several minutes. Out of the blue, and clear as day, she suddenly said, “Jenna throwed toys and Mommy sayed ‘No-No’ – like that.” She then pushed back to look me in the eyes and solemnly repeated the sentence.
Earlier in the day, we had been playing a game and she had suddenly started throwing the cards on the floor. I sternly said, “No, no” and reminded her that when she throws toys, they get put up (for a day). We played for a bit longer until she deliberately threw the cards again. I repeated the “No, no” and scooped up the game while sternly explaining the consequence of her behavior. Later in the day, after her nap, she noticed the game (I always put they toys “up” where they are still in her visual range as a reminder), and we had a serious discussion of the consequences of behavior, and why her game was “up” again. She seemed to be listening (for about 1 minute), but you never know how much a two-year-old is actually absorbing.
After she repeated her solemn words at bedtime, I gently acknowledged her statement and explained the rules once again. I finished by telling her I love her, and she smiled her sweet smile, gave me a kiss, and contentedly rested her sleepy little head against me. Because her solemn words were the only ones spoken in her sleepy, bed-time state, I’d say a small lesson might have been learned. Sure, it will be forgotten a million times in the future, admonitions will need repeating, and consequences enforced, but for today, this mommy is cherishing a single lesson learned and the relationship of love that binds us together.