Monday, December 29, 2014
A long run and parenting fail
It was a perfect day for a long run, even with the wind. I miss my BRF and getting almost a full hour together was like magic and therapy all rolled into one. When she is with me, we can accomplish so much. I hope that even though she isn't doing a marathon with me this fall, that she can hop in on some of my long runs and keep me going.
After our run, I felt my normal post long run tired and hungry, but little to no soreness during the run. The family had headed out for a last breakfast before leaving for Tennessee, so I was on my own. I was a little sore in the problem area of my leg but I iced it and it responded well. My BRF had noted that my running is more straight now, with regards to my legs, which is a win in my books. When we were struggling and the wind was hitting us full force coming up a hill, I do know that my mind went from keeping my legs straight to just get up this hill in one piece. The good news is I am sore on both legs now in that same general area, so I must be doing something right.
Post long run, we had a birthday party to attend. I was a bit nervous because little red is WAY off of his schedule. He had been out of daycare for 5 days at that point, and he was not napping or eating well. He had gotten solid sleep the night before but I really, really wanted him to nap pre-birthday party. I was also worried about the fact that all of the presents from the past few days had been his and his alone, and even if they weren't, he was usually allowed to help with the opening. It was a train themed party, so I knew he would have fun if we could explain to him that all the presents belonged to someone else.
All of the decorations were train themed. He was intrigued by it all, even the napkins.
They were given their party favors when they walked in the door, so he immediately had to open his and check out the cool train whistle and conductors hat. Even the drink boxes were trains!
The opening of the presents started with him in our lap watching. Many of the other kids were down in the floor helping the little one open his presents. After watching several be open, Andrew wanted to go down and help. I figured since the other ones were helping, that he could as well, and I would sit down nearer to the fun, just in case. He was fine till the Thomas stuff started getting opened. Then he went into a little bit of Thomas envy. The hostess was so nice and let andrew open one of the Thomas packages, and play with one of the trains. He made it through the rest of the presents fine, only asking a few more times to open some of the other Thomas stuff. He always responded postively when the hostess told him no, that they were not opening all of the boxes.
It wasn't until we had to leave that the fail began. We had brought some of his Thomas trains, just in case he needed to swap little e's toys for his own. We tried that, but as we were walking out the door, andrew decided that all of the Thomas stuff was his and he wasn't leaving it. We had to take him out kicking and screaming. At that point, we should have just gone home. My gut told me that he was over stimulated and that he just needed to head home and decompress. What did we do instead? Go to the mall. BIG parenting fail. He had a melt down almost every where we went. They had a bounce house room that you can pay a fee to let them bounce in for as long as they want. We mistakenly thought that maybe if he burned off some steam that he would stop with the meltdowns. Again, we should have just gone home but we are new to this so we are learning.
While he did have fun and did burn off major steam, he decided that this car was HIS, and no one else should play with it. Notice this is in like an infant area and there were smaller kids there playing. When he shoved a smaller child in the infant area because she wanted to ride in HIS car, we left. We left with a kicking screaming totally over stimulated 2 year old. I am sure the denizens of the mall thought we were torturing our poor little cherub, but we were not going to let that behavior go (even though we had let the other behavior slide, major parenting fail I know). We now know that the best idea is to just go home, no matter what errands we needed to run. I am very proud of how he handled the birthday party and presents themselves, I am not proud however of our desire to stay in town and thus potentially rewarding any bad behaviors. I am hoping that this long term memory still isn't the greatest and that he doesn't associate the behaviors with the rewards he got, since there was some time between the behavior and the reward.
I still feel insanely guilty about potentially screwing up as a parent. I am still new to this and still learning. I had a long talk post getting home with my BRF who is a school counselor. We came up with some alternative strategies for the next time. I am still back and forth on discipline strategies. I tend to fall on how I train my dogs, ignore the bad behavior, reward the good behavior. I am learning that that could be a ton of rewarding and I need to choose my rewards carefully. Currently we reward pottying with tic tacs or other high value candy and we are moving that towards stickers. We also tend to reward good behavior when we eat out or go grocery shopping with little 5 dollar or less toys (usually trains or cars) but is this setting us up for a child that expects too much? I do feel like in some areas we are ready to move towards a more random rate of reward yet in others we are not. I just don't want to create a child that has the entitled mentality. To be continued.....