Thursday, February 5, 2009

two sides to every toddler

last night, putting Parker to bed was one of the worst nights he has had...ever. even looking back to all those months he slept on the floor, in front of the gate, or at the top of the stairs. last night was bad. He came home with an attitude, was naughty at daycare, got hot sauce in his mouth for talking back repeatedly, wouldn't eat his supper, threw his dirty socks at me, and said no (with attitude) to just about every question we asked. I gave the boys a bath to try to do-something-different and Parker dumped water on Emmitt's head, threw a soaking wet rag at me and on the carpet and then splashed me after I asked him not to. So I went back to the basics. The love and logic way. It has worked in the past and still does with most situations. What works for us is: this? or this? = we get what we; Parker do you want help putting your shoes? on or do it all by yourself? = his shoes are on. In the end we get what we want, while making him feel like he does have a choice in making decisions. Well in the tub and throughout the night, nothing we did was going to make the night go any faster or better. So I removed him from the tub, saying nothing to him, and went back to finish up with Emmitt. Before I knew it, Parker was in a full blown tantrum and racing back into the tub, screaming I want to take a bath with Emmitt! He had part of one leg already in the tub and I removed him again and tried to calmly tell him that for not listening to me means bath time is over. He freaked out! Barrett was upstairs when this tantrum started in. I eventually had to look the bathroom door so that I could finish up with Emmitt otherwise I was going to get whacked with the door in the back repeatedly while I got Emmitt's jammies on. Parker proceeded to kick the door and scream at me. What does Emmitt do? Starts copying the "noise" his brother is making. I think at this point I started laughing and half crying. When Emmitt and I come out of the bathroom, Parker made a mad dash for the tub, only to freak out some more that the water was all gone already. So I wrestled him into his jammies and brought him up to bed. Clearly he is tired...but it is only 7 o'clock. Oh well, tonight for your behavior you can go to bed at the same time as Emmitt. Well that didn't work so well. He kicked and screamed up the stairs, at the door, and cried to the point that I got concerned about his breathing. So Barrett and I argue about how to continue with him. Yell? Spank? Hot sauce? Rock? Hugs? Kisses? Bang our heads on the wall? Leave him alone? We try a few of the above and nothing is working. I actually took the kids temp, just to be sure he wasn't sick and I was punishing him for that. It was 97.4. So I ask him what he wants. He wants me to rock him in the chair. So I cave in and do it. I certainly don't mind rocking my child in the chair, but it is the way he went on for the night and then expects to be forgiven just like that. I know he has figured out that if he asks for one more kiss, hug, song, etc...that we will most likely give in. But enough is enough. After rocking a little more in the chair I put him to bed. Thinking he was finally over this tantrum. Nope! We shut the door, prayed he didn't wake Emmitt up again and left him up there. It was another good half hour and he was finally quiet. I went up to bed a little later and guess who was sprawled out on my half? Yep! So I move him to his bed and he managed to stay there all night. In the morning I gave him new Lightning McQueen stickers for waking up with a happy heart. He was so proud of himself! He was better at daycare today and tonight he was perfect! How? How can one day be so different from the next. Moods? I dunno. Tonight he went to bed, no screaming, no door kicking, lots of hugs and kisses and songs, with no drama! Ahhhh....

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