Our Children This Week: Laney

Posted by  | Sunday, October 26, 2008  at 9:50 PM  
At 22.5 months, we are having a blast with Laney, cracking up all the time at her amazing ability to make us laugh. At the same time, she will do things that melt our hearts to nothing. We are truly smitten. And yet even still, at the same time, she is challenging us in defiance so much that I am so often praying for wisdom and discernment as to how to discipline her well and turn her to the Lord every time. How can my little sweetie-pie be so endearing one minute and then make my ears turn red the next minute? We are in the "no" stage like no other. Please tell me this stage doesn't last long. I'd like to hear how you Mamas have handled the "no's". This should be interesting to read. I'm optimistic that it's a short-lived stage due to the fact that she can't really communicate well right now, but at the rate she's going, she'll be able to express herself so much more thoroughly in just a few months.

We are also gearing up for Laney's two year birthday party. I've already bought her invitations, but I still have a hard time letting the fact sink in that she will be two years old in six weeks. What?! On a more day-to-day update, as of last night, Laney has been teething, and since she's so close to turning two years old, I'm assuming she's teething her two year molars. A long night awaits us, but I'm blessed to be able to be there for her in her pain. I hear these two year molars are the worst ones. No fever as of yet.

Potty: This week we also have been vaguely introducing the potty. As this point, the potty is merely a toy, as I haven't rolled up my sleeves and camped out at home for a week for hard-core potty training, but I AM READY to get the show on the road soon. She will sit on the potty, but I hear no tinkling or splashing going on down there. She did, however, manage a silent tinkle one time. When we practiced wiping, I noticed a little wet bum, so that was a start. I was pretty excited! The things that excited us now as moms. I love it! I'd like to potty train Laney before we move her to the toddler bed. I'm hoping the move won't be anytime soon. I want to keep Laney in her crib as long as I possibly can. No rush here!

Words: Laney's vocabulary is really starting to take off. She's saying new words all day long every day. Nothing makes me smile bigger than hearing her sweet, little "lispy" words. And I love that they aren't perfect. I was talking to my friend Jacelyn today about how we will be sad when our kids start pronouncing words super clearly and in sentences. I think she will have a lisp of some sort, at least that's what it looks like to me, but I hope I'm wrong. I grew up having a lisp (ch, sh, s sounds) and had to attend speech class until the fifth grade. It was so hard to overcome, but I learned to retrain my tongue and mouth, so that was an accomplishment for me. Laney also is my little song bird and picks up on a tune in a split second. She really can sing, and I'm not saying that because I'm her greatest fan. Ha!

This week we have loved going to the fields to watch Daddy play intramural football. She would yell out "Daddy! Daddy!" from the sidelines. She also sang the ABC's so loudly that every head in earshot turned to figure out who was yelling. I mean, it was LOUD. Of course, there were smiles everywhere, including one across my face. I am trying to teach her to sing and talk in a more quiet voice. Here's us above at the football field with our dog Daisy. (Trying to keep Daisy by my side and a toddler from running out on the football field to her Daddy was TOUGH.)

Here's my little ham with her little limelight smile!

NC State Fair: We went to the fair last week with Dee-Dee and Grandpa. We loved watching Laney's eyes light up in amazement as she took in her surroundings. The picture below says it all. We went to see all of the animals which was an absolute HIT with Laney...and Grandpa. :)

Injury: Lastly, one week ago, while Laney was in her crib about to go down for a nap, I heard her in there talking away. Then all of a sudden I heard a terrible cry, and one that I don't hear often, so I immediately started heading for her room. I was not ready to see what I saw. She had apparently been bouncing in her crib and hit her mouth. There was blood everywhere: on her shirt, pooled up in her mouth, on her pants, hands, sheets and blanket. Talk about having a heart attack. I thought she had hit her teeth, but couldn't see due to so much blood. It was terrible. Her top teeth went deeply into her bottom lip. Thankfully, Hugh was there to inspect the wound and keep me calm. I wondered if she needed stitches, but Grandpa and Dee-Dee said that mouth wounds heal quickly. They were right. She was bothered the rest of the day and in a lot of pain , but on Tuesday her lip had already started to close up. On Thursday I noticed that there was a more prominent white spot where the injury had occurred but figured that was part of the healing process. Saturday night I noticed the white spot was still there so I decided to feel it and it was hard, which surprised me...and worried me. It was comparable to a little pebble. This morning it had grown enough to really alarm me. Why would this be growing instead of shrinking/healing? I don't take frequent trips to our Ped because I know I will be put on a hot spot because of our choice to not vaccinate after 9 months, but I will be calling our Doctor tomorrow to get it looked at. Could it be a hematoma? Infection? Staf? Scar tissue? Has anyone had an injury like this and can shed some light on this?

In closing, if you would like to share about any of these areas from your own experience, we'd love to hear from our readers! This is a two-way street for us. We learn so much from you as you learn from us. I love POH!
  • Two year old temperament
  • No's with two year old children
  • Teething two year molars
  • Potty
  • Teaching "soft voices" without breaking their confidence
  • Any mouth wound testimonies?


AnniePat said...

my little girl is 26.5 months, and she went through the no's. i mostly ignored (or agreed--"okay, we don't have to brush your hair now, but we will after i count to ten"), or responded in a very controlled, calm tone (to contrast the usual spunky tone of her "no") that she must not say "no" to mommy, depending on the situation. i think the stage didn't last so long because she didn't get much reaction, and because she gained more words really quickly. we discipline for disobedience, and i can now tell her that arguing with mommy is disobeying, and she gets that.

as far as breaking your child's spirit, i always feel better giving positive instruction rather than criticizing when it come to instruction like using a quieter voice. so, instead of saying "not so loud!" i try to say, "oooh, that's sooo loud, let's talk more quietly," lowering my voice when i say "quietly," so she knows what that means.

i hope that helps! it's fun trying to figure out what each little one responds to, because it can be so different from kid to kid. and good luck with the lip injury...that sounds scary.

Lauren said...

My son is now 28 months old. I think how you handle the "no" stuff changes a lot with how you discipline in general, and how you discipline in general has so much to do with each child's individual personality! For my son, we stopped asking questions to which the answer could possibly be "no" until we tackled the issue completely. But for those few occasions when he would shout "no!" at us - and when he still does - I flick him on the cheek with my middle finger and remind in (in the gentle voice, always in the gentle voice), that he may not speak to Mama and Daddy disrespectfully because it does not honor God, and it does not honor Mama and Daddy. Now, we ask him questions like "Would you like more ___?" at supper, and he's allowed to respond with "no thank you" or "no ma'am." But, like I said, we waited to give him the privilege of saying "no" until we had conquered the lion's share of the "no" problem.

For the soft voice, I discovered that he would mimic how I talked, so I would bring my voice down low - or even whisper - and tell him, "We need to speak in normal tones now." It took a while, and we're still working on it. When he shouts, I quickly whisper "No shouting! [and then come back to a hushed but normal voice] We should be speaking in normal tones now."

About the sweetly incorrect pronunciation of words: oh, my favorite thing! We take movies of it as much as we can, but I also actually keep a journal for each child, and write in it - to them - on a fairly regular basis the things they're doing or learning. And I always write out phonetically how he pronounces things, because it's just too precious to not remember!

Christy said...

I am trying to mostly ignore the "no's" as best possible and only addressing the things that are important for respect and safety. Since my son is just now starting this I am in the same boat you are.

Back several years ago, I tripped on the sidewalk outside of my cousin's house and nearly bit through just below my lower lip. I remember the initial outer area inside the mouth healed fast but the area took forever to completely heal. I do recall a lump being there but I would still get it checked out just to be on the safe side.

On another note I have decided to take the two weeks between my second's first birthday and Thanksgiving to devote to potty training my two year old. So far we have done what you have going on. He enjoys sitting on the potty and playing with his special puzzles that are only for this time. Pray that we have a successful time doing this, I know my patience will be tried.

Hollie said...

Annie and Lauren,
Thank you for your feedback!

Lauren, our family uses the "flicking" as well, but we only flick hands (so far). LOL! We both discipline in similar fashion, especially with our verbal discipline (ex: "that he may not speak to Mama and Daddy disrespectfully because it does not honor God, and it does not honor Mama and Daddy.") I feel like I say this all day long. Ha! We also have tried to cut out the a lot of the yes/no questions.

Let me ask you this: do you ever flick and spank?

Stasha said...

For the teething, children's ibuprofen was a lifesaver for our son, Tylenol did NOTHING to help, but the ibuprofen helped him to sleep peacefully through the night.
For the loud voice problem, I taught him the difference between and "inside voice" and an "outside voice". When we are outside he is allowed to yell and scream and sing at the top of his lungs if he wishes. Inside, just a regular volume level is allowed. So if he's playing "dinosaurs" with his friends in the house and the noises get too loud, I say, "Use your inside voice" and he makes the same dinosaur noises but in a silly little quiet voice. It has really worked for us, and he caught on the the idea pretty quickly but of course still needs reminding sometimes.

Shannon said...

Maggie is also quite rambunctious, and I've started telling her, "Mag, this is a quiet place, so let's talk quietly!" I tried to make it sound fun and special, rather than squelching her energy.

She really picked up on that, and any time I gently "shush" her, she says, "Mama, this a quiet place," in her little whisper. "That's right," I say, "it IS a quiet place, so let's talk quietly." :)

As for the "no" and discipline, I'm trying really hard right now to use a gentle, loving voice while telling her no, and at the same time, staying firm, so she knows the boundaries. We will tell her what the consequences of disobeying are... for instance, Jeff has trained her to say things like "Daddy's no means no" and "one fussy means two spankies." And if she fusses, she gets two swats on the bottom. Again, we keep our voices light with this, not angry or condemning.

Other times, I just tell her no, don't make a big deal of the issue, and move her on to something else, as not to dwell on it. You can't make a huge issue out of everything every time. I believe we should keep the boundaries in place, but choose what issues are going to be teaching points right now, and not exasperate her with making disciplinary issues out of everything.

As for the lip, I'm also clueless. Maggie bit her lip last week, but it healed quickly - and it was not nearly as bad as Laney's. I'd definitely have it checked out.

And as for flicking - we do that too. We flick the hand, mostly, especially if the hand has committed the offense! :) But we also flick the forehead. I started this as early as the girls started biting while nursing. I would flick their cheek.

We also do spank. A swat on the bottom, never out of anger. It depends on the offense, and what we've set forth as the consequence... and where we are. A flick at the dinner table or in the store may get the job done without making a big ordeal, interrupting family dinner, or making a scene in public!

Great post!

Rachael Davis said...

LOVE this post my friend Hollie! I need to do one like this on Lana's website once a month or something, so I'll remember these precious details.

A suggestion about the mouth injury if you have not already made it to the ped: maybe try a visit to the pediatric dentist? (We use Dr. Buddy at Carolina Pediatric Dentistry in Wake Forest.) Lana had a really bad fall like Laney's...we were worried about the mouth injury itself, along with those two precious top teeth. Dr. Buddy says you have to watch the roots of those teeth to make sure they don't die, you have to watch for infection, etc. A dentist is going to be an expert in that, not a pedi.

And about the no's: if you ask Laney a question with a yes or no answer, then that means no has to be an acceptable choice. Dan & I would sometimes find ourselves frustrated when Lana was in this stage and we would say to Lana, "Lana, will you come help me pick up those blocks?" and she would reply with "No!" Well, we did ask her question! So if no is not an acceptable answer, then you give an instruction: "Lana, please come help me clean these blocks up so we can go outside." If she says no THEN, it's an issue of obedience, and we spank for disobedience. That being said, this is such a time of training, so we used this phrase a LOT: "No is not a choice right now. Mommy told you to pick up the blocks. You must obey. No is NOT a choice." We would say this immediately AFTER the "No!" If she chose to continue to disobey, a spanking would follow at that point. Does that all make sense?

I LOVE me some Laney! Give her some hugs and kisses from us!

Lauren said...


I understand. Making the switch from flicking the back of his hand to flicking his cheek for "sass offenses" was a tough move for me. I have kind of a complicated system of obedience and training and discipline, though.

We have training swats and flicks, which we call "reminders." This would be when I tell him to come to the table to eat and instead of coming immediately he stacks 5 more blocks; I go to him and swat his bare leg and ask him "How are you to obey Mama?" and he answers "obey right away." That's just a reminder. Or if he demands something from me instead of asking appropriately ("may I please..., will you please...") I flick him on the cheek, and remind him that he needs to speak respectfully.

We do spank on the bottom, and we call those "counsels" or "disciplines." I try to reserve this for dangerous things or issues that seem to occur repeatedly throughout a single day or within a week. Discipline for us is quite an ordeal, as we have to go someplace private, remove his fluffy cloth diaper, he has to submit to his discipline (which means no flailing, sitting down in the middle, covering his bottom with his hands, etc), and then we have reconciliation and hug and talk about why Mama and Daddy discipline and remind him of the rules. (sigh) It's exhausting just typing it out!

So in my opinion, "no" just didn't warrant a full counsel. But then, we also caught "no" and started flicking early, so it never really escalated into a major issue for us. So, the short answer is yes, I do flick and spank, but not together, because of the differences (to us) between training and discipline.

Stasha, regarding the ibuprofen, I totally agree! Both as a testimony of its efficacy versus tylenol, but also because my hubby (who's a pediatrician) feels like motrin in general is more effective and actually safer than tylenol if you're backing the doses up one right after the other.

Mallory, Amy & John Mark said...


I'm a pediatric nurse, and don't claim to be an expert, but here's my professional (and personal) opinion on the lip issue.

The lips are extremely vascular (meaning more blood vessels in them), which explains why they bleed easily when you even bite your lip a little, much less really hard. Also, the skin on your lips is thinner, making it easier to break. The knot in the lip is probably just scar tissue from the wound. It should reabsorb into the skin and be gone within a week or so. But, if it starts oozing pus or she acts like it's extremely painful, I'd have cause to worry.

I'd love to know what your ped said, so post a comment when you can!

Thanks for the cute pics of Laney-she's adorable!

Hollie said...

Great comments ladies!! We really appreciate these --

Update: Laney's little knot on her inner lower lip has shrunk from yesterday to today! Praise the Lord! As soon as I saw it this morning, I knew it was smaller. Therefore, I did not call our Ped. It even looks better tonight than it did this morning, so I'm very optimistic that it's just what Amy said, scar tissue and it's on it's way down. Thanks for all the advice ladies!

Brandy said...

Here's my .02 cents in regards to potty training and the bed. We actually waited a while to do both cause we were transitioning back from overseas. We actually did the bed and potty training at the same time. it worked really well for us. My opinion is if you start potty training while your child is in the crib, they can't (or at least shouldn't) get out of the crib to go potty, thus kind of indirectly teaching them when you're in the bed you just potty there. If you're doing it all together, you can say, "you have to stay in your bed. The only time you may get out is to potty. Try not to pee-pee in the bed, but get up if you think you need to go." If you think it's too much to do the bed and potty at the same time, then you could do the bed first and get that down pat. Then you go with potty training and getting out of the bed to potty, etc. Hope that might help think through things before you make decisions.

I'm Brandy, one of Christina's sister-in-laws.

juliabcooney said...

Where did you all read about "flicking"...just interested in learning more about it.

I definitely second of third those that said try not to give yes/no questions to help with your little one using the word no often. We are going through that phase as well. The ped said it was good to try and give our little one some sense of independence by giving her choices, even when we would be fine with either of the choices...Example, do you want to climb into your car seat or do you want Mama to help you into your car seat? - both are accomplishing the same goal and it gives her a little bit of decision making opportunities.

Loved reading all the comments!

Tamara said...

oh the "no's"!! what's worked for us with our 2 1/2 year old eli (and actually still rings true with our older son, henry, at 4 1/2 years) is pretty simple. when i ask him to do something and the response is an emphatic "no", i give him about 5 seconds to begin to obey, and then i say, "eli, it's not a choice. you can do it yourself or mommy can help you." then he gets another couple of seconds to show me if he's going to choose to obey or continue to be defiant...at which point i physically help him to follow through with the request that was made of him. so, if i ask him to pick something up and put it away and he says no, we go through the "you can do it yourself" thing, and if i have to help him, i gently guide his hand to pick up the toy and put it away. in all honesty, it only took a couple of the gentle physical "prompts"...and now he usually hops to pretty quickly when he hears "it's not a choice...". and if i need to prompt him/follow through, i really only have to point to what he's supposed to do and he follows through pretty quickly.

oh, and if you solve the "how to teach a toddler to use a softer voice" debacle, please, let me know! we're still working on it! :) all i can offer is use lots of redirects...eli usually complies with the redirect to use a softer voice, but that in no way means he remembers the rule 15 minutes later! :)

Hollie said...

A friend of mine who went to a Navigator's Parenting Retreat posting on POH about what they learned and how they raised their four boys, who are soooo polite and obedient every time I see them. Here is her post:

NotesbyNewsome said...

Hello all! I apologize that this is not really related to the post...I just needed to vent! I totally do not want to be a "debbie downer" and honestly I never believed this myself till I experienced it....3 is worse than 2! I really thought throughout 2 that my son was not that bad. I mean we had some "no" issues and some tantrums, but we handled them and he learned and I really briefly thought "2 is not that terrible" THAT'S BECAUSE IT'S THE TERRIBLE 3'S!! Now my son cries EVERY time we leave some place...even if I give him ample time and warnings that we will be going. He runs from me and I'm scared to death to not hold his hand everywhere we go. He laughs at spankings. Now, please do not get me wrong...my little boy has not completely changed. He's still VERY loving toward me, his sister, and daddy (however, he now no longer wants to greet Andy at the door when he comes home, and instead runs the other way yelling, "no, no, no"). He's an extremely sweet little boy, he's just testing us in every way right now, and he's even re-testing us on stuff we've covered. I'm at least glad that potty training is finally over! It took several months but we got there! And before 3 and a half! Thanks for letting me vent!

Terra Jones said...

I'm so not encouraged as Keaton's (18 months) FAVORITE word is "no" lol...

We too, try to not ask "yes" or "no" questions (except along the lines of if he wants more at a meal or something...) very similar to what Rachel said.

Maybe we're hitting that stage early (???) lol :)

I'm trying to work on "inside" and "outside" voices with Keaton...so I have no tips for that!

Rachael Davis said...

Hey Hols,
I just read the post on flicking - question for you: why flicking and not spanking? I mean, I understood the methodology she was talking about and definitely agree with her heart and premise behind her discipline. I just can't figure out what benefit there is to flicking?

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