Saturday, April 23, 2011

Growing a Pair

This morning the sun was shining, the birds were singing and Walter and I had a most lovely walk to the playground. We found pill bugs and played with them. We found rocks and collected them in his stroller as we went. We met dogs and pet them. We got to the playground and played. Up and down the slide, up and down the slide, repeat 40 times more. Hoarding wood chips. Exploring the underside of the play equipment. I swung him. I helped him climb. And then he walked to the entrance and said "go". So we went. I let him decide left or right. And then we were off like a heard of turtles.

Then came the corner of Edmunds and 36th. He wanted to go east and we needed to go west. This was unacceptable to him and proceeded in almost running out into the street to show his protest.

What happened next is a blur of 20 minutes of crying, sobbing, kicking and pleading. We were on a walking thoroughfare to the main drag of our neighborhood and there were plenty of spectators to this spectacle. I was pulling everything I had out of my hat. "Look at that dog!" I would exclaim, and there were actually two really nice dog owners that stopped and let Walter in his hysterical mess pet their dogs. I tried giving him choices "you can play in the school yard" or "we can walk home". "Breathe Walter. In out, in out." I said with exaggeration.

Alas in the end there was just no reconciling with him. He wanted to go look at the buses and cars on the busy street an we had to go home. Had he not made such a big deal about it I probably would have given in. But I don't want him to think that going all hysterical he would be able to get his way.  It took some doing but I did manage to get him in his stroller and he rode in the stroller home crying and me beside myself, we had been having such a great time before that corner, how did it all break down so quickly?

And sure it was embarrassing to have people gawk at us, I think we provided temporary birth control for at least two couples walking hand-in-hand, but in the end I stood my ground. It is so hard going from "you can't spoil the baby" to "a toddler needs consistent boundaries". In one of the blogs/magazines/books that I read about toddler discipline they equated the need for setting clear boundaries and expectations to the working world where you have a boss that doesn't set those clear boundaries and expectations and then writing you up for something you were expected to do. And it was like a light went on. Because I've had those kind of bosses before.

And so it stands, when we are outside walking hold hands while crossing the street. No running out into the street from the sidewalk. And above all else listen to the word "stop". This morning it didn't happen. We made a scene, and I could have cared less. It was a learning opportunity for both Walter and myself. So hopefully next time I can better deal with a breakdown and he will be able to listen better. Until that time, wish me luck as a begin to grow a pair!


  1. ...patience is a virtue...patience is a virtue...patience is a virtue...

    it's a mantra that doesn't necessarily work for me but i try it anyway. i love that you provided temporary birth control :) hilarious!

    i think you have the ovaries to pull this whole motherhood thing off; no need to grow steel balls when you have titanium ovaries!

  2. lol!!! I love this post. The visual of W throwing an absolute hissy while couples stroll by is hilarious. I'm going to try that one day... and smile and gaze at passer-byers like "what? You've never had a temper tantrum before?