I've only been a mom for about 6 months, but let me tell you. I've learned more in those 6 months than I think I ever did in 13 years of public school, 4 years of college, and 5 years of work experience.
Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to observe me and Petros doing the Mother/Baby dance. The one where we learn about each other's limitations, likes, dislikes, boundaries.
I can see in his eyes when he's testing me, that he wants to know what his limits are. He craves them. I can actually pinpoint the moment in time where he thinks in his baby mind, "will she let me do this?", "if I do it anyway will she still love me?". It sounds a bit advanced but I truly believe this is the dance we do throughout the day.
This morning Petros was going after our lap top keyboard. That is a "no, no" for him and he knows it. He looks at me, touches the keyboard and I say, "no" firmly. If he does it again I take him away from the computer. When I took him away from the computer this morning I had my "unhappy mommy" face. When I sat him down on the floor he came over and gave me a kiss and patted my face. I gave him the same love instantly, as if I were saying, "yes, I will always love you, no matter what choices you make".
He crawled right over to the computer again and the same dance occured. This happened about three times. Each time I was firm in my "discipline" but freely giving of my love. And each incident ended with a mommy/baby love moment.
This is the dance that will continue for years and years to come. There is something amazingly beautiful in this dance. I love showing him that no matter what, I will always have an overflowing, never ending love for him.
Even in the midst of the "no" moments.