In one sense, we are. My wife and I are never inconsistent. If I tell our 2 yr 4 mt old daughter she can do this, she can't do that, my wife will agree. If my wife tells her this is acceptable, that is not, I will agree.
But in another sense we aren't. My wife doesn't have an angry bone in her body. She can't bring herself to be stern/firm/angry with our daughter. And it's not hat I want
everybody to be angry with her whenever I am, but it's resulting in her running to mommy when I'm mad at her and mommy hugging and kissing her, saying "it's okay" although still reinforcing the things I told her (that such-and-such is wrong/unacceptable).
It's become a game of good-cop/bad-cop. But hey, it works with the police (at least on TV it does
), so I'm thinking it will probably work at home too. I teach her that such-and-such is not acceptable, mommy teachers her that it's OK to listen to daddy. But then again I question: is
this OK? Is the fact that she runs to mommy for comfort (and gets it) whenever daddy's mad OK? Is it normal? Will it grow into bigger problems later?
I bring this up now because last night we had an incident. She pooped in the bath tub. She knows
she's not supposed to. We've been having trouble getting her poddy-trained. She absolutely refuses
to use the poddy (at least for pooping). And when she's in the tub, I can tell when she has to go. She gets that look on her face and that posture in her stance. So I ask her "Do you have to go poo-poo?" but of course she denies it (often she'll say "No, just tooting"). But of course, one can tell. So I grabbed her and placed her on her poddy. She had a fit. I stuggled to keep her on and said "No, you have to poop." Of course, she wouldn't so I finally said
"Okay, you don't have to poop?"
"Okay, we'll go back in the tub, but you can't
poop in the tub, okay?"
"If you have to poop, you say 'Daddy, I have to poop', okay?"
"But you don't do it in the tub. If you do, mommy and daddy will be really
Now we've been through this ritual before. Several times have we had a bath and I could tell she had to poop, I'd take her off, put her on her poddy, she'd protest and refuse, and so I'd put her back in the tub, and every time I'd tell her "you can't poop in the tub". So she knows.
Well, this time I guess she couldn't hold it in so she pooped in the tub. All the while I was asking her
"What are you doing?"
"Are you pooping?"
But she was. So I got mad. I pulled her out and scolded her with the waggy finger, cleaned the tub and started to refill it. Meanwhile she ran off to mommy who, though concurring with me that she can't poop in the tub, still gave her a hug and told her everything's OK.
She brought her into the bathroom as the tub was filling up and we had a little talk with her basically reinforcing the no-pooping-in-the-tub rule.
Finally, we asked her what she was supposed to do and she said "If I have to poop, I do it in the tub" - "No" - "I mean, I mean, I do it in the poddy." - "that's right" (it was cute the way she stumbled over her words
So she knows.
But that means I can't not be mad at her. Pooping in the tub is unacceptable, especially since she's old enough to know she should be pooping in her poddy. I don't mind if she poops in her diaper - if she's not ready for panties or trainers, that's okay, we'll wait - but pooping in the tub can't
happen. And I have
to be mad with her when she breaks a rule like that (it's just harder when I'm the only one).
Did I do the right thing? Should mommy also be mad? Should I go more easy on her? Or is this division between us okay so long as we're united in what the rules are.