Wow! I didn't anticipate all the comments from my last post about my adventure in parenting with Mr. Carson the other day. I SO appreciate all the support and understanding and insights! I love what Eric said about raising MY child, not the onlookers. I do want to be clear that I didn't mean for it to be a dividing post about pro-spank or anti-spank. I meant it to be a unifying post about the challenges of raising these precious rugrats! Rheada's (Nabz) comment and also Rory's post today remind me that it can be pretty isolating sometimes being a mom--stay-at-home or working. It also reminded me of what a strange and neat thing these blog communities are. A tech-challenged mom the other day admitted she has no idea what a blog is, has never been on one, and can't figure out the allure. She said "I don't understand WHY you have one?" I thought for a second, and then I admitted that I blog for myself mostly. I process things, good and bad, through writing and pictures. I like to relive the good stuff and get closure on the hard stuff. I love feeling connected to my friends and extended family that I don't see very often by sharing the day-to-day minutiae of our family. Was I hoping for a few supportive comments? Heck, yeah! And you guys didn't disappoint! I know I enjoy reading stories from other parents about their ridiculously crazy parenting moments a heartwrenchingly poignant moments, so I want to share mine. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a support group to raise a parent!
But after sharing that ugly moment, I want to say that Mr. Naughty that was in Safeway is NOT who my son truly is. I think that's part of why he melted so easily after discipline. He doesn't like being that angry, tense person anymore than I like dealing with him! (Also, side comment, I'm pretty sure he has no idea of the cultural connotations of spitting at someone. I think it was just part of his whole body fighting against me and blowing a wet raspberry in my face was just one weapon in his arsenal. Still--it was the straw that broke the camel's back!) So, I thought I would share something positive about C-dog.
We have had a HUGE victory in the past few days here. Since he was an infant, Carson has never woken up quietly. If he was awake, the whole house was to wake up and entertain him. I have friends who would tell me their child would play or read quietly in their crib for several minutes until parents retrieved them. That NEVER happened for us. And we fed the monster by responding to his yells and cries pretty promptly. Well, in the last 6 months, we've been trying to retrain him that if he wakes up too early, he needs to try to stay in his room quietly until it's time to get up. But that is hard to enforce. When is it an appropriate time to get up? How does he know when it's time? How does he know if he's allowed to come out or not? He can't tell time, and the light outside changes as the seasons do.
SO. I cut out two big (about 2 inches long) arrows out of construction paper and put double-sided tape on the back. I taped the biggest one to the 12 on his clock, and the smaller one to the 7. We told him that he can come out of his room when the hands reach those two arrows. WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS SOONER?! It has worked like a charm. He still has trouble sometimes with the "quiet" part, but he doesn't yell every 3 minutes: "Can I come out now? NOW? MOMMY! CAN I COME OUT NOW?"
Usually we've still had to go in when he first wakes up and point out that it is not yet 7, and remind him of the drill. But twice this week, he woke up on his own, turned his light on, looked at the clock and played/read in his room, then came out (usually to me in bed) at 7. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I was so proud of him! And then? A new day begins and we start this adventure all over again.