A couple of recent incidents have helped me decide to focus on how I talk about Joanna. She’s very sensitive to what we say about her and I’ve seen the hurt look on her face as Jessica and I discuss her while she’s in the room.
Tonight’s episode: saying she stinks, instead of saying her diaper stinks. Shifting the focus from the origin (J’s apparently rotten insides) to the source (Pampers full of expelled evil) of the not-so-heavenly aroma still addresses the fact that it smells like a New Orleans sewer 3 days after Mardi Gras, without the shaming effect on my developing toddler.
Seriously though, I’m making an effort to change how I address situations so the issue is what it’s discussed, rather than the individual.