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#1 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd is 10 months old and I recently enrolled her in a playgroup. Basically a group of babies with mommies/helpers doing "child development" activities such as climbing up steps, crawling down slopes and into tunnels, playing around with different textures, interacting with other babies, and baby massage. 

 

I have been observing my dd's personality, she's really loud and expressive and has a lot of her own ideas. Meaning that when she wants to do or explore something, she will do it, and if I prevent her from doing so, she fusses. During 1.5 hours of playgroup, she fusses and cries the whole time. She doesn't want to do those activities, preferring to either crawl off on her own, cling to me, or nurse. 

 

In today's session, the instructor set dd at the bottom of the steps, and me at the top, and told me to encourage dd to crawl up. I know she can do it easily, she just doesn't want to. So she cried and protested for a good ten minutes before finally crawling up very slowly. The other babies in the group go with the flow and follow instructions easily. 

 

The instructor told me that dd has a very strong mind and needs to be 'broken' early, otherwise, she'll have issues at interviews for school admission (they interview kids for nursery school here, lol). This isn't a concern for us as I plan to homeschool dd, but her comment made me think. 

 

I was raised to be very passive (traditional chinese) and so I consider my dd's strong personality a plus. In general my family thinks I spoil dd with my attachment parenting ways and as a result she's gotten demanding (she IS demanding). 

 

I want to encourage dd to learn and explore on her own and don't want to squash her spirit. I am curious about others parents' experiences or thoughts about this.

 


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#2 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 05:43 AM
 
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Maybe she is a bit more strong-willed than other children her age, but my goodness, trying to "break" that in a 10 month old? That's ridiculous, especially when she's new to the playgroup and still finding her groove.

Honestly, stubbornness is par for the course at this age (and at age 2, and at age 3...) wink1.gif I have a LO who's a demanding one, in part because that's just her personality and in part because she had other issues that led me to compromise my limits more than I meant to. So yes, I, personally, need to work a bit on reinforcing the guidelines that work for us as a family; but that's a far cry from "breaking" her down to make her more compliant!! It's a constant struggle to filter out what other people tell you and feel out what works for you, but you can do it!
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#3 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 05:56 AM
 
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Well, that teacher would have HATED my ds. He is as stubborn as they come (and definitely gets it from me). When he was 8mo he decided he was going to walk - and that was it. He tried to walk all day every day for 2-3 weeks until he mastered it finally. It was the ONLY thing he wanted to do. Literally. I have videos. He started refusing to crawl, he wouldn't pull up on the furniture (he stood independently in the middle of the floor the week before he turned 8mo), he didn't want to cruise - he wanted to WALK, just like all the other people who walk.

 

He's 3yo now and driving me insane.

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#4 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 08:57 AM
 
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OMG, get the heck out of there! Who wants a "broken" baby? You have a baby who is curious, who explores, who learns. All you need to do is facilitate her natural inquisitiveness by helping her when she wants help and otherwise staying out of her way unless there is a safety issue.


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#5 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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Yeah, "breaking babies" = lunatic raving. blahblah.gif nut.gif

 

Are they joking? That's insane. Way to take your play group wicked seriously, mr. crazypants!

 

You want your DD to be who it is that she IS....not who some baby-time instructor thinks will interview best at a preschool (lol, interviewing toddlers, lol). I've got a couple of extremely strong willed, "spirited" kids...who are the sweetest kids around and who are more than willing, at two and three years old, to reason and listen to my words/wants, so long as I am speaking to them respectfully, like they are human beings.  They are still three and two, so, you know, plenty of the time they are out of control and not "reasonable" people...but they are on par developmentally, as far as their ability to listen, reason, etc when it's important. My DD(3, almost 4) especially. Actually, the 3 year old would most likely knock the socks off of any panel of interviewers at a school for her ability to clearly and confidently communicate, listen actively and for her insane social skills. I didn't beat these abilities into her...I allowed her to explore, express herself and be who she is and those skills naturally developed.

 

None of us can MAKE our kids into people who are even slightly better than the people our kids will naturally become if left to do that in their own time/way. Our idea of who they should be is going to pale in comparison, every time, with who they will actually become if we let them be themselves.

Ten months old is a **baby**. How do you even begin to go about "breaking" a ten month old? Something tells me it involves a lot of crying. Yeah...I'm all set with that. biglaugh.gif


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#6 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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I can't imagine a class where a baby is set at the bottom of stairs and left to cry, and the instructor tells you to "break" her. This is not a good place to take kids IMO. What a horrible exercise to put babies through, and what a horrible goal. greensad.gif
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#7 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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I'm so confused by the purpose of this class.  Why do you need your infant to crawl up stairs on demand!?!?


 

 

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#8 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 01:32 PM
 
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Gosh, I think once she used the word "break" I'd be outta there.  That's just a terrible way to think of children and babies.  blush.gif  I think your dd sounds totally normal.  I had one who was very easy going and cooperative and one that is strong willed and often very difficult.  Although the first was *easier* on me, I see willfulness as a healthy trait.  Now I worry that my easy going boy is going to get in trouble by going along with whoever comes along, kwim?  


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#9 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 03:09 PM
 
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Another vote for: What are they thinking??!

 

Neither one of my kids would have thrived in that environment. Ds was extremely slow to warm up. He wouldn't have explored anything, especially if there was a chance that another baby might run into him.  In addition, he never did anything he didn't want to. This was the child who chose to spend an hour sitting next to his boots rather than playing outside because he wanted his preschool teacher to put the boots on. He had the option of playing indoors or putting his boots on. He chose not to play, but to sit next to his boots. Dd is 'stubborn' in a more forceful way. She will argue loudly with you about things.

 

My kids are 'older' now, and I can tell you that the persistence and strong sense of self that made the toddler years difficult are making the older years easier. Dd learned to ride a bike at age 4 because she was determined to. She read the entire Harry Potter series the summer she was 7 because she was determined to. (She actually read book 5 in three days because it had to be returned to the library in that time.) My kids are in public school and we've had no behavior problems there.

 

The language you use to describe your child does often reflects how you view her. You can turn those 'negative' traits into positive ones. Is she stubborn or is she strong minded? Is she obstinate or persistent?

 

I'd recommend not going back to this class. You might also want to read Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's books: Raising Your Spirited Child and Kids, Parents & Power Struggles. They're good for parents of more intense kids.

 

 

 

 


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#10 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 04:55 PM
 
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Breaking a 10 month old?  eyesroll.gif Over an exploratory activity with steps?  How weird.

 

I think stubborn is a good thing.  I think most people who accomplish amazing things or change the world can be described as stubborn.  I'm not looking to "break" my stubborn DD.  I'm trying to help her learn which things are worth being stubborn about and which things to let go.

 

I also think the instructor's attitude displays a belief that there's only one right way to do or learn things, which I absolutely disagree with. (i.e. the only way to properly learn the skill of climbing the stairs is to do it how and when the instructor says. So it's necessary to "break" the child's stubborn insistence on exploring and learning on their own time or in their own way.  Even though there's no need for her to actually climb the steps at that particular moment.)  At that age all learning should be fun.

 

The idea of trying to mold your child so they'll do well on preschool interviews seems insane to me.  I would hope the point of those interviews is to find the best fit for the child, not look for good interview skills in a toddler.  But, having never had any experience with a preschool interview I really can't speak from personal experience.


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#11 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 05:22 PM
 
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I though all toddlers were like that? The fact that you need to "break" her, really just means you need to have a serious talk with this woman about how children's minds work. 


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#12 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I didn't expect so many replies! Thank you all this encouragement!

 

Surprisingly, when I was searching around for a playgroup for my dd (mainly to get us both out of the house and for dd to have some social interaction), this woman got a lot of positive reviews from parents on baby/toddler forums, and she's been running her playgroups for more than 10 years around here. 

 

 


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#13 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A struggle, definitely, lol. Everyone (especially older chinese people) love to tell me what I'm doing wrong.

 

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Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post

It's a constant struggle to filter out what other people tell you and feel out what works for you, but you can do it!

 

 


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#14 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd was like that with turning over and crawling. It's amazing to watch them figure things out with such determination.

 

 

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Well, that teacher would have HATED my ds. He is as stubborn as they come (and definitely gets it from me). When he was 8mo he decided he was going to walk - and that was it. He tried to walk all day every day for 2-3 weeks until he mastered it finally. It was the ONLY thing he wanted to do. Literally. I have videos. He started refusing to crawl, he wouldn't pull up on the furniture (he stood independently in the middle of the floor the week before he turned 8mo), he didn't want to cruise - he wanted to WALK, just like all the other people who walk.

 

He's 3yo now and driving me insane.

 

 


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#15 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Staying out of her way comes naturally to me, lol. So much that I wonder if I should be engaging her in play more proactively!

 

 

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OMG, get the heck out of there! Who wants a "broken" baby? You have a baby who is curious, who explores, who learns. All you need to do is facilitate her natural inquisitiveness by helping her when she wants help and otherwise staying out of her way unless there is a safety issue.

 

 


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#16 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see now that it does involve lots of crying. Many parents here use sleep training and such to train babies though. My mother mentioned more than a few times that my dd is too strong-willed and gets her way too often. 

 

I like that italicized like, btw. :)

 

 

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None of us can MAKE our kids into people who are even slightly better than the people our kids will naturally become if left to do that in their own time/way. Our idea of who they should be is going to pale in comparison, every time, with who they will actually become if we let them be themselves.

Ten months old is a **baby**. How do you even begin to go about "breaking" a ten month old? Something tells me it involves a lot of crying. Yeah...I'm all set with that. biglaugh.gif

 

 


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#17 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd was the only one crying though. All the other babies were fine and happy the whole time. Many mommies came to comfort me for my dd's 'bad-temper', lol.

 

This is the first time I've let dd cry for so long without comforting her, and I also wanted to see what she would do.

 

 

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I can't imagine a class where a baby is set at the bottom of stairs and left to cry, and the instructor tells you to "break" her. This is not a good place to take kids IMO. What a horrible exercise to put babies through, and what a horrible goal. greensad.gif

 

 


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#18 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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According to the description: "a child development program aimed at facilitating the development of babies in the first year, through play and movement."

 

Playgroups are popular here because flats are tiny and babies are very restricted.

 

Although yes, that thought did cross my mind as well!

 

 

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I'm so confused by the purpose of this class.  Why do you need your infant to crawl up stairs on demand!?!?

 

 


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#19 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Glad to read this! 

 

I think stubbornness is a positive thing. I hope for dd to be independent and don't want her to bow down to others. 

 

Thanks for the book recommendation-- off to check it out! 

 

 

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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

 

 

My kids are 'older' now, and I can tell you that the persistence and strong sense of self that made the toddler years difficult are making the older years easier. Dd learned to ride a bike at age 4 because she was determined to. She read the entire Harry Potter series the summer she was 7 because she was determined to. (She actually read book 5 in three days because it had to be returned to the library in that time.) My kids are in public school and we've had no behavior problems there.

 

The language you use to describe your child does often reflects how you view her. You can turn those 'negative' traits into positive ones. Is she stubborn or is she strong minded? Is she obstinate or persistent?

 

I'd recommend not going back to this class. You might also want to read Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's books: Raising Your Spirited Child and Kids, Parents & Power Struggles. They're good for parents of more intense kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#20 of 37 Old 04-25-2012, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Getting into a reputable private school here very important for many parents, and because competition is tough parents who can afford it put their kids in endless playgroups and classes to build up their portfolios and behavior to boost their chances of "succeeding." So I can understand why this playgroup and instructor is popular and well-received here. 

 

My cousin recently went through this process to get his daughter into nursery school, and he says it was like applying to college, lol. 

 

In general, though, chinese people like to mold their kids. Obedience is one of the most important character traits a kid can have. 

 

 

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The idea of trying to mold your child so they'll do well on preschool interviews seems insane to me.  I would hope the point of those interviews is to find the best fit for the child, not look for good interview skills in a toddler.  But, having never had any experience with a preschool interview I really can't speak from personal experience.

 

 


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#21 of 37 Old 04-26-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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In general, though, chinese people like to mold their kids. Obedience is one of the most important character traits a kid can have. 

 

 

Oh my!  It would be hard for me to live with that sort of pressure.  Obedience is not what I'm going for with my parenting at all.  I would like it if my kids listened to me once in a while, but I generally appreciate it that they argue and moan and groan about pretty much anything I ask them to do.  orngtongue.gif  


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#22 of 37 Old 04-27-2012, 09:47 PM
 
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You cannot teach a 10 month old obedience. That is ridiculous. What she is learning as she sits at the bottom of stairs and cries is that her voice has no value in that situation. She is confused, and afraid, and most likely tired/cranky. I think leaving a kid to cry actually makes them more independent and less obedient because you are teaching them that they are all on their own in the world. Attached kids seem to have a greater tendency to explore coupled with strong self awareness, but they also seek help for their problems and communicate well as they grow.

Don't "break" your DD. I know mine was rather difficult when young. She pouched, cried, refused to comply, the whole thing. I worried she was't acting feminine and proper (stupid words for a child, but I was learning). I complained at a family event that she had pushed another child who tried to take her toy, and I was ashamed. My grandmother said "good for her! There's a woman who will take life by the horns and isn't afraid to fight for what she wants.". Although I still cringe sometimes, ever since that day I've tried to focus on the power and strength that comes from my DD personality, and instead of trying to change her I work on positive ways to express her needs and wants (like words instead of pushing). Good luck.

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#23 of 37 Old 04-28-2012, 03:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Love that line from your grandma!

 

It's nice to hear from stories from BTDT moms on this forum and be reminded of respecting a child like any human being. It's something I wish very much to practice with my own child(ren), which is completely opposite from my own childhood (beating a kid into submission).

 

 

 

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You cannot teach a 10 month old obedience. That is ridiculous. What she is learning as she sits at the bottom of stairs and cries is that her voice has no value in that situation. She is confused, and afraid, and most likely tired/cranky. I think leaving a kid to cry actually makes them more independent and less obedient because you are teaching them that they are all on their own in the world. Attached kids seem to have a greater tendency to explore coupled with strong self awareness, but they also seek help for their problems and communicate well as they grow.
Don't "break" your DD. I know mine was rather difficult when young. She pouched, cried, refused to comply, the whole thing. I worried she was't acting feminine and proper (stupid words for a child, but I was learning). I complained at a family event that she had pushed another child who tried to take her toy, and I was ashamed. My grandmother said "good for her! There's a woman who will take life by the horns and isn't afraid to fight for what she wants.". Although I still cringe sometimes, ever since that day I've tried to focus on the power and strength that comes from my DD personality, and instead of trying to change her I work on positive ways to express her needs and wants (like words instead of pushing). Good luck.

 

 


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Oh my!  It would be hard for me to live with that sort of pressure.  Obedience is not what I'm going for with my parenting at all.  I would like it if my kids listened to me once in a while, but I generally appreciate it that they argue and moan and groan about pretty much anything I ask them to do.  orngtongue.gif  

 

I hope I'll be as understanding when my dd is older!


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#25 of 37 Old 04-28-2012, 06:01 AM
 
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I do teach my children to be obedient to me but at very age-appropriate ways.  A ten month old baby has no way of using discipline at all.  Even my 2.5 year old doesn't get disciplined, really.  

 

I think you can respect your children and expect them to comply to house rules and teach them how to treat others as this isn't always something that comes naturally.

 

I don't always tell my kids "no" and I don't have lots of consequences for their behavior, I let them be themselves, but I think we need to learn to live together, not just think about our own needs first.

 

And I wouldn't try to make yourself act any certain way.  If you want to sit and play with the baby, then do it.  If it's not your thing and she is happy, then let it go.

 

I don't play all the time with my youngest dd but I do try to keep my ears and eyes open to see when she might be getting cranky or bored and then I stop what I'm doing and do something with her.


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#26 of 37 Old 04-28-2012, 08:08 PM
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Like Youngfrankenstein, I also teach my kids to follow my directions and do what I tell them to do.  It would have been hopeless at 10 months though.  I don't think your dd was even being stubborn in the class - a 10 month old has no way of understanding what's going on with the steps and the teacher and what she is supposed to do.  My kids started responding to simple requests sometime around 2.  At that point, it's a skill to celebrate when they do it, but not an act of defiance when they don't.  I can understand why people get wound up about it when competitive preschool admissions are looming over them.  But it's one of those things kids will pick up very quickly when they are neurologically ready, and cannot even begin to attempt until they have both the receptive language and the motor skills to do so.  All those moms who think their babies are so obedient and good?  My older dd was like that.  Turns out we just got lucky and had a laid back kid.  It had nothing to do with our parenting.  

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It'll be interesting to see how she fares (I'm guessing way better, like the mama who said her 3 y/o would knock socks off with her mad interview skillz ;) ) compared to the prepped babies if you continue with the AP style instead of the sanctioned play groups. If she blows everybody away, maybe you will start a trend in your area! :)


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#28 of 37 Old 04-29-2012, 09:59 PM
 
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Wow.
I read a quote a while back so I don't remember it exactly but it was something like, "I doubt many great leaders started out as good little girls and boys."
This lady wants to make sure your dd will be a good tax payer. Don't break her spirit- some day she might be the one deciding what the rest of us pay taxes for.
It doesn't sound like she enjoys this play group, or that it is in her best interest either. If you just want play opportunities for her, try a local moms Meetup, or your local LLL or breastfeeding support group. When we were in the States we met a lot of like minded moms at those groups and they were more like play dates than anything else, since everyone bought their kids.

"That's the way it is, if that's the way it seems to you."

"Cosi e se vi pare."

Luigi Pirandello

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#29 of 37 Old 04-30-2012, 02:05 PM
 
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"Well-behaved women seldom make history." —Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

 

She's 10 months old, the teacher needs to calm down. She's a child not a horse, she doesn't need to be "broken in".

You LO sounds like mine right now. :-) 


If evil means to be self-motivated, to be the center of one’s own universe, to live on one’s own terms, then every artist, every thinker, every original mind, is evil. Because we dare to look through our own eyes rather than mouth clichés lent us from the so-called Fathers…three cheers for Eve. -...

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#30 of 37 Old 04-30-2012, 03:06 PM
 
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Your DD sounds a lot like my son. He cries more than any other baby I know, but he is also really expressive with his happiness and is so strong willed. Although it does wear you out, I agree that this is a great personality trait to have!


Mama Bear toddler.gif, Papa Bear treehugger.gif and Baby Bear (8/11) coolshine.gif

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