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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What the Hell Happened

I just want to know what the hell happened to my angelic, sweet little boy. His alter ego is recalcitrent, stubborn, contrary, sullen and willful. My 3 year old has become a teenage girl.

This is our first trip with both kids and I must say it has been trying. On the positve side, I can see what a seamlessly functioning machine Jim and I are together. We can communicate with a simple look, like 2 nights ago when Henry was HOT, whimpering and complaining his ear hurt. We looked at each other over his huddled, shivering little form and I KNEW we were headed to the ER. 3 hours later, it turned out to be a false alarm since the little scamp started feeling better and was running around the waiting room, watching "Wonder Pets" after being triaged and thrown back into the holding tank.
We decided to leave after 2 ambulances showed up and he's been fine except for his seasonal cough. Still not an experience I would recommend for out-of-staters. No soap in the restrooms and now that I think back on it, the triage nurse didn't wear gloves when she examined Henry. Ew.

It's been like constantly walking a fine line between Henry's enjoyment and total toddler takeover. Well, I guess I can't call him a toddler now since he's technically in the preschool class but I can't think of the equivalent matching "P"s.
I just want him to have fun while not becoming another part of his entourage. Factor in the ever-present judging eyes of strangers and it can be stressful since I know to an outsider it looks like we're letting our kid act like a complete BRAT who has his parents tethered on tight leashes. Our reality (or at least our intention of it) is more along the lines of picking battles and letting him learn natural consequences (up to a point).
"I don't want to eat breakfast." leaves me with two choices:
1. Sit him down with food and leave him to it. If he eats, fine. If he doesn't, that's his choice. We told him to eat now or wait until lunchtime so he knows the consequences.
2. Sit there until he eats breakfast which throws off the whole day for us and the grandparents, not to mention being guaranteed to cause a nuclear meltdown in the hotel dining room until he decides to comply.
So he refused a plate of his favorite- fruit salad- and then refused a strategically offered bagel in the car, picked at lunch and was a complete PILL all morning from being tired and hungry. He slept in the car, played on a playground and then was absolutely fine for dinner.

So maybe it was the change in routine. Maybe it was being tired and hungry but this song and dance is getting old. We stopped briefly at a winery and those 3 tastings choices were the highlight of my day.

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