Day one of my I Can Do It attitude. Okay, not exactly, as that’s usually my attitude. Or at least the one I try to superimpose on the grumbling going on in my brain.
It didn’t go too badly.
We got up and underway with remarkably little fuss this morning. Okay, there were a couple little hitches, but every time that Cameron whined he did NOT get what he asked for until he asked nicely. No reminders. I just kept reminding myself, “I can do it,” in my head. We were in a bit of a hurry, so hot chocolate and coffee were taken on the bus. It worked really well, might keep that up.
Then came the part that I was worried about. “Cameron,” I sternly told him. “We have to make a deal. Here it is. You need to nap at daycare. If you do, then we’ll play in the back yard a bit after daycare. But if Lori tells me you didn’t nap, we’ll just go straight upstairs with no playing.” He thought about it a moment, and then agreed. We walked the last block to daycare. Once inside, I reminded him, in Lori’s hearing. “Okay Mommy. I’ll sleep at nap time.”
Phew. Off to work I hurried, for a management seminar and an afternoon of frantic task completion.
So … what do you think? Did my little love nap?
Not one little bit. The kid apparently hardly blinked, let alone got any zzzs, the entire day. Even worse, he kept the others awake talking until Lori finally separated him – something she apologized profusely for, though I assured her that I’d rather she did that than went insane from lack of a break.
Ohdear. I’d made one serious miscalculation. Today, you see, was election day. That meant a stop at the polling station on the way home, which for me meant the local elementary school gymnasium. Whups. With a playground that Cameron loves, filled with kids (for once) right out side.
I happen to think it’s the height of cruelty to drag a kid past a playground. The rules I’d set out were clear, no playing in the back yard. This wasn’t the back yard. So, time for another serious chat. I made it clear, that because he had been such a well-behaved boy in the gym while I voted, he could play in the playground for ten minutes. But the deal was that when I said it was time to go, it was time to go. No whining and no crying. He agreed.
So we played. And had a great time, for ten minutes. I hated to cut it short, but had to. I’d set the rules, and if I want to survive the next decade and a half I’ve got to stick to them. It did, however, make tonight a much more enjoyable experience. The ‘gift’ of a few minutes of playing, when he didn’t think he was going to get any, set the tone for the evening. Sure, we had a couple of conflicts, and there was some boundary testing. But for the most part I barely needed to remind myself that I can do this.
He fell asleep in my arms tonight, in the comfy chair, all bundled up in blankets, his sweet little face nestled into my neck and one hand holding mine. Our new (new to us that is, thank you Bill!) clock tick, tick, tick, ticked away reassuringly.
I can do this.