Monday, July 27, 2009

Child-speak, part 4

When Katoushka was two years old, she did not talk baby talk. She talked in complete sentences, in a very melodic voice, quite clearly, and not only seemed to remember everything she heard, but also to be able to use new words appropriately.

Her parents had a discipline plan, which I had not totally grasped yet, but it seemed to be working very well, and I had a great deal of respect for it, and for them.

So when they left Katoushka with us, I tried to do as I thought they would do. But one day Katoushka did something that she knew she wasn't supposed to do. I told her I was not sure how Mommy and Daddy would handle it, and we were going to wait until they got home and find out what they wanted to do.
She sat in the little red rocker quietly for a few minutes. Then she said, "Mimi, Mommy and Daddy say that those who love me chastize me."

I knew that chastizement meant some kind of punishment, so I called her to me, and gave her a couple of little swats on her thickly diapered bottom, saying, "Precious, I would not want you to think that your Mimi doesn't love you." She returned to the little red rocker, rocked vigorously for a few minutes, and wiped her tears.

I could hardly stand it. My precious little grandbaby was hurt.

But before I could say anything, she came back to my side, spread her arms wide, and said, "Mimi, can we reconcile now."

My heart twisted in my chest. I gathered her into my lap, hugged her, and we rocked until Mommy and Daddy came home.

Note: For clarification, I am adding Jeana's response: " We told her that we chastise her because we love her. I think the difference is important. We certainly do not expect everyone who loves our children to chastise them, nor would we be happy at all if they did."

Jeana wants to be sure there is a distinction between what they actually said, and what Katoushka and I thought she said.