I don’t like to be the kind of Mom who fears living her life because the behavior of her child is so unpredictable. For better or worse I have always pushed forward even if I knew tantrums and embarrassment could be imminent. I have never had a period in my life that we stopped taking the boys to restaurants or on other public outings only to sit at home for months and months trying to out-wait their tantrum-prone/defiant phase. My boys are just too active to sit it out. I have to keep going. I admit, this second time around (as in raising little T.Puzzle), it’s harder and harder to find the motivation to keep doing so.
I decided to give myself a break of sorts and didn’t take little T.Puzzle on any outings during the day. That is rather hard with a super-active, super-inquisitive little man to keep entertained all day. Eventually by day’s end, I knew I had to take him outside to do something. I landed on going to the park after we picked up big brother Full Speed from school.
As we pulled in the parking lot I told Little T.Puzzle what my expectations were. “You have to listen to Mommy at all times. If Full Speed needs to use the potty, you come with us immediately. If you decide not to listen you will lose many privileges for the evening. You will sleep alone (he loves to have big brother Full Speed sleep in his room with him), you will go to bed right after showers and there will be no treat and no tv show.”
They played for maybe ten minutes when big brother Full Speed announces he needs to use the bathroom. Little T.Puzzle ignores me when I tell him to come with us and proceeds to laugh at me because he know I can’t reach him. At least this time Full Speed was more prepared to potty on his own so it wasn’t as disastrous as it had been in the past (see ‘I’m Stunned’).
I somehow manage to get little T.Puzzle down from his safe haven of the top of the slide and I dropped the hammer. He went to his room when we got home until dinner was served. He went straight to bed alone after showers and he didn’t even have the privilege of a bedtime story. There were tears and angst (mostly my own) and little T.Puzzle screamed like a banshee at times, too (super-fun).
Motherhood is hard on the days when you question everything. Is my child beyond behavioral repair? What am I doing wrong? Why can’t my child listen to me? Why do even attempts at fun outings lead to disaster?
I guess that’s why love is such a powerful emotion. It trumps everything thank goodness; even the question-filled unlikable days of motherhood.