Friday, January 14, 2011
I also acutely felt his absence when he was with his dad for the last few days, when Congresswoman Giffords was shot, and that sweet little girl, the same age as Mr W, died. Those events shook me up a little, and I was sad that I'm only with Mr W for half of his time. So I wanted to feel like I'm making the most of the time that I do have with him. Thus, I instituted sweeping changes to the evening meal protocols, which was met with outrage, OUTRAGE, I tell you, from Mr W, the very person I'm trying to nurture.
I told him that, from tonight on forward, and indefinitely, I want his help fixing his dinner, and I wanted to eat together at the table. That's it. You see, I fix two different meals almost all the time when I have him. I know, I know, this is one area of parenting where I have failed miserably, but I fix him his starch-vegetable-yogurt-chocolate milk, and then I have something else, usually pulled from the freezer that I've made ahead. It works, but it gets old. Especially when he can be helping a little on his end.
The first night, he threw an actual tantrum, which was difficult, and took a lot of effort because he was hungry. He literally stomped across the floor to show his displeasure, and had to go to his room and cool off. Once we were both at the table, we..... talked a bit. I happened to have a National Geographic on the table (yeah, that's how we roll at my house), and showed him pictures of Egyptian mummies scientists are doing DNA studies on. I told him about getting the airline vouchers as compensation for our canceled flight, and we talked about where we could go this summer.
The second night of the new routine was met with initial refusal but then he came around and helped. He also offered to bring in the milk that had been delivered on the porch. It'll get easier, and although I answered his questions as to why I was punishing him like this, I ultimately had to say, "Look, you don't have to be OK with this, but you know my intention is not to punish you, but for us to talk more." "Hmmph". But he's coming along and I think this will be a good change for us.