heart in the clouds

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sometimes you just have to take a stand!

I realize we are at a pivotal era in parenting and our discipline methods are becoming more and more important, but they certainly aren't getting any easier. You know the old cliche phrase "this is gonna hurt me more than it will hurt you?" Well, it's true and it doesn't always relate to corporal punishment, which is something we avoid at all costs anyway.

Saturday started off normal enough, Zach snuggled, errr, played in our bed for about a half hour before we got up and then we all went downstairs to make "moatmeal." Breakfast passed without a tantrum..yeah we were doing great! I needed to run to Walmart for a few things and Zach wanted to go with me. Usually telling him it's time to get dressed to go anywhere starts a tirade, so I decided to use walmart as a bargaining tool. I told him if he got dressed quick, he could go with me. Amazingly, it worked. He was dressed in warp speed and all we had to do was brush the hair, which takes all of two minutes max to untangle his little curls. With the mention of "fix hair," Zach went into all-out tantrum mode screaming "NO I NOT FIX HAIR NO MORE." He went about the house hitting the walls, yelling at the cats and kicking anything in his path.

So I thought if walmart bargaining worked on the clothes, maybe it would work for the hair. Wrong. I told him he would only go to walmart when he let me brush his hair. He continued screaming and kicking, etc. I thought okay, if I pretend to leave, he will know I'm serious. I walked out the door and the crying did not stop. So I walked back in and told him one last time that he could only go to walmart after his hair was brushed. Screaming continued and I told David I was sorry he had to stay and deal with it, but I had to take a stand. So I told Zach I loved him and I'm sorry he could not calm down enough to go to walmart and then I walked out the door with confidence - on the outside.

As I got into the car and began to drive away, I started crying a little. I hated that I had to leave him there and that he was sad. I wanted to run back in and scoop him up, but I fought the urge and hoped it would show him that I mean what I say.

God must've seen my inner struggle and decided to plant someone in my path at walmart who would understand my plight. When I rounded a corner, there was Alecia Ward. We said our hellos and then she asked the predictable "how are you?" Usually I just say "fine," even when I'm not. But for some reason I just got honest and told her that I'd just had to take a stand with Zach. I explained what happened and she affirmed my decision and like any good, experienced mother would do, told me it had to be done and the sooner he realizes I mean what I say, the better. We didn't linger, we both had things to do, but I walked away feeling confident in my decision and knowing I'd done the right thing. I was thanking God for placing someone there for me who would understand and empathize a bit.

When I got home, Zach was calm, but very red-eyed. David said he'd cried for close to 30 minutes of the 40 I was away. He had to sit on the stairs (our time out spot) for quite awhile because he was being aggressive with David, hitting, kicking, etc. It was so sad, Zach came up to me with tears still in his voice "Mommy, (sniff, sniff, sniff) I wanna go walmart with mommy." I explained to him that I'd had to go without him because he wouldn't let me brush his hair. He just said "yeah." I did scoop him up then and tell him how much I love him, but that we still needed to brush his hair. He reluctantly let me.

It makes me think of the fits I throw when I don't want to do something I know God wants me to do. They may not be manifested in screams, kicks and the like (or maybe they are) but it's the same struggle with our human desire to sin. I'm not talking about "awful" things either, but even gossiping, impatience, gluttony, selfishness and on and on. It's all the same to Him and sometimes he has to take things away from me to prove a point - an opportunity, a friend, etc.

I love the verse "train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it," Proverbs 22:6. I wonder if that applies to more than just people young in age. Perhaps it applies to all of us as God's children and he's constantly training us up. I know He is still training me and sometimes, more often than I'd like to admit, He has to take a stand too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Electric Stove-top Burners ARE hot, yes sir!

Last night was a lesson for everyone in my house (well, not the cats; they just aren't teachable). We had to run by Lowes on the way home and then I needed to put the finishing touches on supper before serving it. Zachary loves to help make mashed potatoes so I invited him to help me. I had taken the pot off the burner and turned it off and drained the potatoes. I had everything ready and he pulled up his chair.

He was a little too close to the burner for my comfort so we scooted down a bit and I warned him that the stove was still hot and he was not to touch it. He said "hot" and shook his head that he agreed to leave it alone. This is usually not a problem as he's really good about leaving dangerous things alone once he's warned of their disaster potential. Plus, he was standing right beside me, right? What could go wrong? Never ask yourself that question, by the way.

Things got a tad chaotic because I was also steaming fresh green beans in the microwave. The microwave beeped and David came over and reached around Zachary into the microwave to retrieve the beans, which were still too hot to remove. He started to move them and realized he was about to spill them everywhere so he tossed them back in the micro. Well, I was distracted and apparently so was Zachary, so instead of continuing to help me mash the potatoes, he decided to try out the burner. He had to lean over quite a bit to reach it and his little hand was probably on there less than half a second, but it FREAKED me out. I dropped the potatoes, splashing them across the kitchen floor, as I scooped up Zach. He wasn't even crying...yet. In an instant I had his hand under running water, I couldn't bring myself to look at it because I was too scared what it looked like. We held his hand there for awhile and he did start to cry and talk about how hot the burner was...REALLY? DUH! Mommy TOLD YOU IT WAS HOT, dangit. FYI, don't say dangit or any other "curse" word in front of your children; they repeat those words incessantly. I can't get him to say kangaroo, but he's mastered dangit...sigh.

I sent David upstairs to get the Dr. Sears baby book...BUY IT, it's great...and we decided to take a look at the burn(s). It wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. In fact it hadn't even broken the skin. I filled up a bowl with tap water like the book said and I submerged his hand in there. It was easier to keep his hand in a bowl than under the running tap. We called the pediatric triage nurse, who probably knows us very well by now. I'm surprised he even had to ask me all the usual information haha. We determined that we could treat the boo boo at home and this morning, it's barely visible. Last night I really thought the slight blisters were going to become a problem, but whew, they aren't.

Zachary will NEVER help me make anything near the stove in the future, and even if I asked him, I doubt he'd agree to come anywhere near that thing. I'm amazed that it did so little damage and so thankful he's okay. Oh and we did salvage the potatoes, most of them anyway.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I no wanna go bed

I'm wondering what exactly children have against sleep. I mean really; as an adult I LOVE sleep; I desire sleep; I look forward to it sometimes with all that is within me!! My son, on the other hand, abhors sleep and will do anything in his power to not enter into peaceful rest of dreamland.

We were on such a great roll before we went to Kansas City. For so many nights, he'd been so easy to put down (and after nearly 2 years of night wakings, you get used to the all night sleeping really fast!). We'd take a bath, read books, sit in my mommy's lap for awhile and then say night night and I'd leave the room and it was perfect. No tears, no whining, no refusing to close eyes. Then we went on two cross-country trips in a month. The first was to Texas and he recovered faster than we ever expected. The second trip was to Kansas City. Now there's not really a lot different about either trip in terms of sleeping arrangements; he slept with us on both. We've never really been co-sleepers, so it was like a special treat...for him. I'm not really into getting kicked in the ribs at night or head butted in pre-sleep stupors, but it worked for a short time.

We've been back for almost 2 weeks and we've had ONE...count it, ONE...night that ran as smoothly as the nights before our trip. We haven't changed the routine...bath, books, songs, bed, but Zach's obviously changed his position on the bed part. It's taken roughly 2 hours each night to get the little monster to bed, which feeds a cycle of sleep deprivation, which feeds a cycle of increased tantrums, which feeds a cycle of sleep deprivation...

I'm patient for about the first hour and then I just get so agitated that I want to bang my head on the wall; last night I gave in and banged it on his door while telling him to HUSH and CLOSE EYES. AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH I'm sure that made him feel safe and secure and enticed him to sleep eh?

I haven't given in; once he's in bed, he's there and I don't pick him up again. I don't let him in our bed unless it's after 5:30 a.m. I do try to stay in the room until he's really drowsy and seems asleep and I do tip toe out the door. But, he must have sonar in his ears because he can hear the slightest creak in the door and he's sitting up screaming again. David and I have been standing outside his door trying to reassure him that we are "right here." It finally works, but it's just exhausting. I'm not a cry it out mom, so I really don't want anyone telling me I should just leave him alone to cry. He could outcry me anyday.

I was talking to a girl at Gymboree yesterday who apparently lets her 13 month old cry it out for an hour or more without even checking on her. I just cannot see the logic in that and it doesn't happen at my house. I'll let him go a few minutes, then I'll go in and lay him back down, calm him down and leave again. That's what I've always done and it eventually works, but it doesn't usually take 2 weeks WOW. I'm just so tired. I really have a lot of respect for moms who can handle more than one baby/preschooler; I don't know where you get the energy unless you have at least one naturally good sleeper.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer Lovin' Oh my

Even in his brief 2 years4.5 months, Zachary always has been a relentless little flirt. I keep thinking down the road to when he experiences the harsh reality that girls will not always chase him around and kiss him. I'm not sure when the cootie stage starts, but it's going to be tough on him I'm afraid!

Last night, we were attending our church's independence day picnic. Most of the huge inflatables in the central Kentucky area were on the church property for the kiddies to amuse themselves while the grownups tried to relax...yeah right. It was a mere 89 degrees when we arrived and Zach didn't care; he wanted to play till he dropped. The first few times on the big slide, his daddy accompanied him and then Arynn Greenfield took him a few times. Finally he was semi-ready to go it alone or as he says "Zach self!" So we let him go through with a few older kids and then came Samantha. Sammie is one year and 8 days older than Zach. They met in the obstacle course slide and then became inseparable. Each time one of them would finish jumping or sliding, etc., they would find each other and walk hand-in-hand to the next attraction. At one point in a long line, I saw Zach wrap one arm around Sammie's waist...he's not shy.

I had to laugh though when Zach was holding Sammie's hand with his left hand and picking his nose with his right...oh how ticked am I that this photo was not in focus, not a good time to play with a new lens! They two cuties held onto each other until the party people deflated all the rides.

Arynn stole Zach away again right before the fireworks started. It was a little bittersweet because it really was the first time he got to experience "big" fireworks and I didn't get to share that first with him. I realized that it's not the first time some other girl will win out over mommy UGH! She brought him back toward the end of the show, so we still got to watch a few together. He was completely unafraid and very nonchalant about the whole ordeal. Funny from a kid who's still freaked out by the vacuum cleaner!