Friday, January 28, 2011

Like Taking Candy From a Baby

I used to scratch my head at the saying, "Like taking candy from a baby." I wondered to myself, "who in the world would give candy to a baby?"  Then I had a second child.  Suddenly is it crystal clear to me why you might slip your baby a lollipop (of course the "safe" kind with the loopy handle) every once in a while.  Because it works!!

The tipping point was when the evil demon out to get me nice lady at the eye doctor gave Little Diva a lollipop, as usual, the visit before last. With both girls strapped into the car, off we went but The Baby is no dummy. She was well aware that Little Diva had something both delightful and off limits, and SHE WANTED IT.

Well, the next time we found ourselves at the eye doctor, I was faced with a dilemma. Do I try to convince Little Diva that she shouldn't have a lollipop because it would be too upsetting to The Baby, do I become a sucker, I mean, get a sucker for The Baby, or do we listen to her scream for the next half an hour in the car? Well, we had a lot of errands to do, I had a migraine coming on, and basically, I AM a sucker. So The Baby had her first lollipop. It was a glorious afternoon of relative peace and quiet there in the back seat, and in the shopping cart, as we finished off the day's duties.

It is one of many things about my parental approach, that seems to be a little softer this time around. In some ways, I think my more relaxed attitude has helped me deal with what I find to be a challenging balancing act of life with Little Diva and The Baby. It is also almost essential because Little Diva will negotiate each and every point, so I recognize the importance of choosing your battles.

Of course, I am not a big fan of Kids On Sugar, and Little Diva is already high-energy and addicted to sweets, so that bit of indulgent behavior on my part is rather infrequent, but with other things, I try to stay pretty easy. For example, I don't stress over having the perfectly coordinated outfit on either of my kids when we leave the house. Usually we are lucky if the socks match. I should point out, though, (to satisfy anyone who might have the Department of Social Services on speed dial out there) that safety is one area in which I refuse to compromise. I think you can be flexible in your style without sacrificing the well-being of your kids.

So are things different for you with your second (or third, fourth, etc) child? I would love to hear about how other mommies out there feel about it.


  1. I am exactly the same way with my youngest two. I had so many rules that I followed with Bubba (like I only used one brand of wipes from a store I have to drive across town to get to). Now, I just go with the flow, and we do whatever causes the least amount of stress for everyone involved.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. YES, with each child I have gotten less rigid and more lax about certain things . . . especially letting them have candy (at times) or drinks of soda. Bedtime is occasionally pushed back (which I would NEVER have done with #1). I still think that #1 has it hardest because with each new phase he goes through, I go through it with him for the first time. #2 will get a little easier and #3 will walk all over me. LOL

    April@Party of Five

  3. I flew from NY to LA by myself with a 4 year old and 2 year old...aside from nap time, we survived on a steady stream of lollipops and jelly beans. There are some occasions where you just do what you have to do! It becomes easier the second time around...because you learn to stop second guessing that lollipop! Great post!

  4. Was it easier with the subsequent children? In some ways. My parenting style went through kind of metamorphysis when I began to work for the Head Start program. I became more flexible with food, and discipline came to mean setting limits with consequences. Then after having twins, I had to let stuff go that was not all that important. I also found a mothering/parenting style that was espoused by LaLeche League and I think the children benefitted by a more relaxed attitude. Having five children gives one pause, and makes one consider what is really important, and what isn't in the scheme of things.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.