Yesterday, I was less patient and more demanding. Sean was the good parent then and helped him through his big emotions. Tonight, after pushing in nursery and yelling at/hitting Dad and having yet another potty accident, I took the role of reasonable parent and tried to help explain the emotions to him. We talked about what makes us sad and happy and why we shouldn’t push and how we should go to the potty before we pee our pants like big kids.
When he finally got in bed, Augie woke up from a too-short nap and then just started screaming for a solid half hour. I tried everything. Nursing, bottle, pacifier, rocking, singing, gas drops, changing his diaper and clothes... nada. Finally, I just put him on my shoulder and hugged him tight while I tried to figure out a next step. Within minutes, he was out. All he needed was a hug.
It’s so easy to jump to frustration and consequences when little kids misbehave, especially when the misbehaving has been going on for days. Days like these are important for both parents and kids, I feel, because we each need to recognize and identify emotions and learn how to cope with them.
Of course, there are still consequences for Milo’s inability to listen to instructions. Tomorrow he will have to help clean up all the hundreds of toys that are out in the living room (I’m counting each hot wheels car as an individual toy, plus all the other things that are out) and work hard to remember to say he has to potty before an accident happens. But, along with that there are rewards like popcorn for snack time after he helps clean and a special grocery store treat if his undies can stay dry for the entire day. Plus, tomorrow we’re having a family night about nice/naughty and happy/sad. Here’s hoping it goes well and is a lesson learned.
Now to bust out the pretzel m&ms and watch a few shows before crashing out for the night.