SugarHouse Mama

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

See That Cute Little Girl Down There in My Previous Post??? She Said I Must Beat Her.

Ok. So I have to give you a little culture lesson before I begin this story or I might get nasty comments and phone calls. In Ghana, they use the word 'beat' when they talk about spanking and disciplining children, etc. Granted, it is still sometimes hard to see, but it's their way of life, not mine. And part of adoption, especially international adoption, means you bring some of that back with you.

For the record, I never saw a child being disciplined {spanked, beaten, what-have-you} in anger. From what I observed, there were set punishments for certain crimes: late for school? a single swat on the hand.

So the other night I was putting Adjoa to bed. The process took nearly 2 hours. She was up every few minutes. A couple times to go potty, but every other time, she just didn't want to go to sleep. You know how it is.

Finally, I'm putting her back in bed and I give a nice, general threat because I'm such an awesome parent and there should be books written and lectures given regarding my break-through techniques that are oh so effective.

I said something like, "If you get out of bed again you are going to be in big trouble. It's time to sleep."

{To be fair to myself, I am certain a statement like that would have worked for me when I was a child - if I ever even got out of bed, that is. I was an angel! BTW my parents don't know how to comment so they'll never be able to refute that claim. Not that they would. Because I was.}

About 2 minutes after my vague threat, Adjoa comes walking into plain sight. When I spot her in the kitchen, she doesn't even take off running to her bedroom like a child in trouble should. Nope. She just gives me a big grin and laughs as I take her back to bed.

I ask if she needs to go potty.
Does she need a drink of water?
I ask what she needs in order to go to sleep.
She says "You must beat me."
"You want mama to beat you?"
"How many times? Just once?"
"You want mama to beat you one time?"
{See how I keep asking because I can't believe this child is telling me I must beat her}

"And you will go to sleep if mama beats you?"

I gave her a swat on the behind and put her in bed.

She started crying when I left the room, so I went back in and said, "I don't know why you are crying. You told mama to beat you."

She stopped crying and WENT TO SLEEP.

I told Lois about it and she laughed so hard. She said Adjoa knew she was being naughty and expected a beating because of it. Funny. I just hope we don't have to go through that every night.


Post script: We've had 2 nights in a row without any problems, and Adjoa hasn't asked for any more "beatings". What a relief! Of course, she hasn't been naughty again, either.


Jen said...

It really seems from reading your blog and watching the videos that you have one smart cookie there! She will be providing you years of excitement and keeping you on your toes! I love her, she is a hoot!


Branden said...

That's hilarious.

Katie said...

Wow, I wish Rigby would tell me how to discipline him. She's very smart! So funny.

Danny and Darcie said...


Hey its Darcie (McAffee). I found your blog through Lani's. You little girl is beautiful. I cried as I read through your posts. My husband and I have been going through some infertility problems, and I have wanted to adopt for the last couple of years. What a blessing you are in Adjoa life and she in yours. I would love to hear more information about the whole adoption process. Will you email me?? Sorry I hope you don't feel like I am prying, if you are not comfortable I totally understand. I hope to hear from you!!

Lois said...

I laugh every time I think of her. Wasn't so long ago she didn't care what you thought mama!
I wonder how long it will take her to figure out that she's telling on herself little miss smarty pants!

Awo said...

Oh my goodness, you have a smart little one there. I think asking for the beating is a good sign that she fully knows and accepts that you are her mom. After all, in her experience that is what moms do when their kids are naughty.

Chris and Lani said...

Jess, regarding my email I would cast you as Julia Stiles for sure. When I first saw your blog that was my first thought - you really do rememble her.

Kristin said...

For what it's worth, my Ghanaian kids use the word "beat" to refer to any kind of hitting - whether in discipline or not. For example, if they tell on siblings, they will say "He beat me".

Laurel said...

Before we picked up our children, we were told by other Ghanaian adoptive parents that we would need to "beat" our children ... that that was the only thing they knew as discipline. What ... beat my precious children? Oh what a little tap on the behind can do.

Children need boundaries ... they want to know where the limits are. I'm so glad that Adjoa could actually verbalize to you what she knew she needed.

Keep up the good work. You're a great Mom.

Laurel :)

Rob Watson said...

I'm laughing because it reminds me of the Bill Cosby routine where he is talking about how "The same thing happens every night..." and how he and his wife have this fight with their kids to get them to go to bed. At one point in the story, he says that he tries to plead with the children to do as their mother says and they just smile as if to say "Dear man. Thank you for your kindness and concern in the matter, but you see, we cannot sleep unless we've had a good beating!"

Your daughter is absolutely adorable. And you are a wonderful couple. Your pictures look like they came right out of a wedding magazine.

Annie said...

We had a problem with our four year old understanding how sometimes his words don't match his actions. One night we saw a nanny cam video. He asked what she was doing, I asked what he thought, he said he thought the nanny loved the kid. So, now he asks to be nanny cammed when he gets put to bed. Guess we need to work on that one.