Little Steps


It finally happened. *achoo* Excuse me. Everyone is finally better except *achoo* me. I finally got it now that everyone else is healthy and guess what? We’re going on a trip in 2 days. *achoo*… Guess who’s gonna be hopped up on Dayquil? Me. I should note though, that I’m kinda happy about it. This is the first time in three years I haven’t been a) pregnant or b) on medication, so I can actually take something to *achoo* make me feel better. In fact, the only thing I can’t help is how red my nose is gonna be when the amount of kleenex I’m currently requiring finally dwindles.

Today had attitude written all over it. I wasn’t up 10 minutes before we had 5 separate tude-cidents. By 10:00am,  he went for a nap, but not before screaming like a banshee. Not once, but 4 separate times. I’m fairly certain our entire complex thought something was dreadfully wrong with our unit. Wanna know why he screamed? Because I did the unthinkable. I asked him to go pee. True story. Lunch went better, until he had to go for his afternoon nap. I should point out, by the way, that he didn’t sleep the first nap, but it was an opportunity for him to reset his brain, and it has worked many a time, with a happy Biggest as the result. He did sleep during his afternoon nap, much to my delight. Hubby got home, and since he was trying with his ‘tude, I felt generous, and told Biggest that he was allowed to watch Daddy play his game, since he had picked up his attitude well. That was followed by more banshee screaming because I *gasp* told him to thank Daddy for playing with him. He went and played in his room a while, and had another attitude when I went in to talk with him. Supper went better when he was done playing in his room, despite a couple more tude-cidents.

Biggest has excellent cognitive functions for his age, and it’s a very fine balance between teaching him what he can mentally comprehend, and understanding that his emotional state is still at the normal level of a 2 1/2 year old (just so I don’t look like I’m going off about how smart my kid is, he made up for how well he thinks by waiting until he was 1 1/2 to start walking, scaring me half to death in the process). Sometimes, we get a little off balance, and I have been reminding myself, especially after the “ears incident”, that just because he can doesn’t mean he needs to. It’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn. I’ve toyed with how to reward him for good behaviour, and the timing of said rewards, switching between almost-immediate gratification, and patience with delayed-gratification, as he has shown understanding and recognition of delayed rewards, and remembers them.

Which brings me to the biggest surprise of the day. Bedtime went smoothly. We cleaned up without a fuss, brushed our teeth without a fuss, even laid down without a fuss. Why? Because I switched back to a simpler reward system. As a mother, I find it difficult to not push my child to do what I know he’s capable of. But sometimes, I have to remember that the little steps matter more than the biggest, and I want him to grow up with the ability to be proud and push himself hard and feel good about what he does, but that won’t happen if I push him to make the biggest step first. The only thing he’ll take from that is that he can’t do anything right, and he’ll fail every time. He’s not going to learn how to be proud of himself if he repeatedly loses whatever he’s trying to attain because I’m pushing too hard, and setting the bar too high.

And so, for my future reference…

 Biggest, you’ve got this, I know you can do it, and I’ll do anything in my power to help you get there.

I can’t promise not to set the bar too high, but I’ll do my best to set it somewhere reasonable as often as I can, and lower it if it gets to that point.

*sigh* I never thought motherhood would be easy, but it bends and twists and shapes you as much as it does your new human.

*achoo*

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