Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Today we walked to the village with Everett for his second haircut.  During his first haircut he sat in the chair alone, but this time he wanted to sit in one of our laps, so he and Melissa were in the barber chair together.  He was great the whole time, but problems started to appear around time to leave.  First he refused to put on his jacket, snow pants, hat, gloves or shoes.  It’s a good thing we walked to the barber shop, because by the time the stroller reached the sidewalk he was having a full-blown temper tantrum, and we know from experience that it is virtually impossible to get him into his car seat at moments like this.  We tried everything to calm him down but nothing worked.  So by the time we got to the bridge in Tosa Village we were the parents with a screaming, uncooperative toddler standing in the snow in his socks with no winter clothing on.  This brought amused smiles from other parents, and some shared stories of their own experiences, so it was more of a source of camaraderie than judgement, but it certainly wasn’t enjoyable.  After about two and a half years I would say that learning to parent is not a gentle process.  Everett is now in a phase that we describe as lovable but sometimes infuriating, largely due to how bossy and particular he is.  Still, it’s impossible to stay angry with him, partly because his infuriating behavior is interspersed with open compassion for me and Melissa, and partly because he is so funny (and he knows it).  I talked about this with one of the Tosa Spokesmen that I ride with, a man with four children whose ages range from four to fifteen years.  He acknowledged what I was saying, then mentioned that someday our behavior would be equally infuriating to Everett, though I assured him that in my case this isn’t possible.

Everett is capable of a wide range of emotions, but he seems to have very limited control over the transitions from one emotion to the next, and the amazing thing is that as a result, sometimes neither do we.  I won’t speak for Melissa but I will say that my emotions often mimic his.  When we are both at our best I secretly have thoughts of winning some kind of excellence in parenting award.  And we are both at our worst I wonder how any parent maintains their composure, and I am astounded that anyone would intentionally have more than one child. I sometimes expect to hear sympathy from other parents that my child will not behave in a logical, reasonable manner. But it’s clear that at this point in his life being in control is a much higher priority than being reasonable, so I expect to receive amused expressions more than sympathy when I tell such stories.

Discipline has now become a common discussion topic between me and Melissa.  Timeouts have usually been effective in the past but compliance has become an issue (he keeps getting up before the timeout is over) so we will be considering new approaches.  I think I can summarize by saying that discipline is not fun, but having an undisciplined child is worse.

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by WordPress
Natural World RapidWeaver theme by ThemeFlood