Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How do I raise my little princess without her thinking she’s a little princess?

Yesterday I had a very difficult time getting my sweet baby girl up and at ‘em. It’s amazing how her internal clock recognizes when the weekend’s here, because she never fails to wake up between 6:30 and 6:45am every Saturday and Sunday. During the week she struggles with getting it into gear. (She definitely takes this after her father.) This particular morning she screamed and cried and buried her head into her blanket and repeated one of her favorite words, “No!” After singing to her, rubbing her back and talking sweetly and positively about the day I eventually turned to our dog, Shelby, and asked her if she’d like to go out to play. To this, my daughter jumped up and down and shrieked, “Yay! Outside! Outside!” So the good news was she was up and happy about it. The bad news was our upcoming time management challenge. How in the world could we go out to swing, eat breakfast, wash her face and hands, brush her teeth, change her diaper again, apply sunscreen, get her dressed for school, brush her hair and get her shoes on...all on time? Impossible, right? So, what did I do? Well of course I took my princess outside to swing.

She had a fabulous time until we had to come back inside to begin our mad dash to get ready for the day. Needless to say, she wasn’t ready to go in, and the screaming began again. I pulled her from the swing and got her inside and into her highchair. Our go to breakfast fix is yogurt and dry Cheerios. She really does love yogurt…except for this particular morning. She pushed the bowl away from her and sent her spoon flying through the air and across the table slinging a little yogurt onto our hardwood floor. (Thank goodness for Shelby who promptly takes care of those little spills here and there.) I calmly explained that that was not nice girl behavior, picked up the spoon, and put it in the sink. Next, my baby girl changed her mind and decided the yogurt looked pretty good. I caved and gave it back to her. What kind of mother would I be to send my daughter to school without eating breakfast? I know they offer breakfast daily, but what if it’s something she won’t like?

After coaxing her to hustle a little with that bowl of yogurt and preparing the dry Cheerios in a container that she could travel to school with, we made it into the bathroom. There, we wrestled with the toothbrush. (She has hers, and I have mine for her; she brushes a while, and I brush them a while. My daughter’s nothing if she’s not independent.) My version of “This is the way we...” was a tad rushed, but we still managed to get her hands and face washed appropriately. Finally, it was time to get dressed. How does a 19-month-old have an opinion about her daily outfit? I have no idea, but it’s already happening at my house. These days, I’m giving her two options, and so far that’s working. I threw on her shoes, handed her the Cheerios to go, showered her with hugs and kisses, and off she went with her daddy to school. Whew!

I feel like I’m giving in to her wants and wishes entirely too often, but we have limited time together in the mornings and at night. I want the time we do have together to be pleasant and fun, but I have to balance that with the fact that I’m still the mama and in charge. I do want my baby girl to be blissfully happy, but I don’t want to raise a spoiled brat princess. I definitely don’t want to squelch her enthusiastic, bold, brilliant independence; however, I cannot allow her to be so demanding. There’s a very fine line, and I’m not sure where to draw it. I haven't even mentioned my challenge with not being able to control the situation. I'm taking it day by day.

What's working or what has worked for you? 


  1. Love your new Mommy Blog!!
    - Kim

  2. Okay, our daughters are TWINS! And I feel your pain. I'm focusing on worrying about the attitude and princess-ing when we can talk about it better than the shouting of NO! basically, I'm enjoying the time we have and I'll try strategies I hear from other moms from time to time. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. Chris and I were so frustrated for a while that we resorted to reading a baby book again. It was helpful.
    Hang in there. Perhaps next time, mention the outside part as a condition of getting ready and after everything else is done. Oh and on the breakfast-give it up-let her eat at daycare. It will save you precious moments of rush, rush and make the whole morning experience better. Amelia eats breakfast there everyday and LOVES it- it is far better than the cereal she'd be eating every morning with me. :)

  3. @Kim, thanks so much!

    @ Shelley, I'm working on giving up the control and allowing her to eat breakfast at school. Thanks for the advice, and it's so good to know I'm not alone! :)