Monday, September 19, 2011

And so it begins...

Today I took Elsie to the grocery store. Usually, she likes going to the grocery store. She waves at people and they stop and talk to her. It's fun. Today, however, she decided to practice her yelling. She wasn't crying, mind you, just squealing. She has been doing that lately. I'm not sure if she just likes hearing herself or if she has other motives. I suspect she has other motives since the squeals get louder and more frequent when she is upset about something. For instance, wanting to get out of her highchair, not being able to reach something, or not being able to squeeze through some impossibly tight place all elicit piercing squeals from the my busy little person.

In the grocery store today, I'm pretty sure she just didn't want to be in the cart anymore and was getting hungry. However, how on earth do I teach the little bugger not to communicate her desires via shrieks? I'm at a loss. I tried covering her mouth and telling her "no" very firmly, but she ignored the "no" and thought we were playing the game where we make noise while opening and closing a hand over her mouth. Fail. I tried ignoring her, but she was entertaining herself, so that didn't really work either.

At home we've been having the same problem. When she's squealing, what do we do? Of course, getting into the water dishes, dropping food off the high chair, and playing with the dog toys are all areas we need to practice discipling also. She knows what "no" means, but proceeds to do it anyway. Clear defiance. She seems so little to spank, and wouldn't understand a time-out ( I don't think. I suppose I could teach her to understand it even now!), so what are the options?

My responsibility is to teach her to be self controlled and considerate and that although she is special, she's not the center of the universe and able to do as she pleases. The fallen nature manifests itself at this young age, and I reflect what a job I have to do with this little person as I struggle with my own fallen nature's desires to be selfish every day! She'll be grown some day, and much of her happiness will depend on the training in self control I give her starting now. Of course, the ultimate training comes from the Holy Spirit, so I guess I should ask Him for some help doing my part!

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