Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Discipline" Success!

I mean, my kid is 22 months old, so there's really no such thing as discipline right now. I'm still figuring out how I feel about the whole "discipline" thing with a toddler. I've been reading up and I guess I fall somewhere in the middle: I don't think he "gets it" all of the time, but I do feel that in my home it's important for us to start laying the foundation of what is acceptable and what is not early.

I have a few friends that are all about the "redirection only" methods and to be honest, it just sounds like they live in households centered around their child and what he wants. For me, that feels like it would create a kid a few years down the road that would have a really tough time accepting rules and boundaries and other people's wishes.

So far, discipline has been frustratingly exhausting, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Jacob either doesn't realize he's being punished and sits in time out chattering to himself and playing with his shoes until I come over to have our "follow up", where he looks me in the eye and tells me what I want to hear so he can go play, or I get all-out tantrums complete with hitting, kicking, screaming and wailing. Neither is fun, or feels like we are getting anywhere.

But yesterday, I MIGHT have had a breakthrough!

Lately he wants us to carry him ALL.THE.TIME. He has begun refusing to walk on his own to/from daycare or anywhere, and just whines and tries to block our way until we cave. So I didn't cave. The process looked a little like this:

"Mama, hold again," while reaching up.
"No, we're going to hold hands and walk today," so I take his hand, and he instantly becomes a sack of potatoes, throwing himself to the ground and trying to wrench his shoulder out of socket. So I let go, let him tantrum, and say "I'm going to keep walking now".
"Bye," he screams at me through tears, until I get too far for comfort, then he runs towards me crying hysteerically as if I have just dropped him off at a baby insane asylum, never to return.
I stop, let him catch up, say, "are you ready to hold hands and walk now?"
"No, hold again," and lather, rinse, repeat.
This was our process all the way from his classroom to the front door. It took over 10 minutes.

I finally carried him outside and we sat on the bench. We had a nice chat while he was sitting in my lap about how I needed him to be a big boy and walk, and how I was never going to leave him behind, but I couldn't always carry him. And then I made a deal. "How about you hold my hand and we walk all the way across the parking lot, and if you can walk with me like a big boy, we'll go look at the bus up close?" THAT got his attention. And then we did...walk all the way across the parking lot. He was awesome, and I told him so.

And then I picked him up and carried him to the car. As a reward for both of us for staying calm (me) and listening to mommy (him).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Long Time Coming

I've needed a change. For a while, now. I mean, in most every area of my life. So, let me fill you in on what's been going on with me.

I'm fat. That's been established. I tried to start a "lifestyle change" in January, lost about 8 lbs, then gained 15. Three weeks ago, I was at my heaviest weight ever (not including pregnancy): 248lbs. So I joined myfitnesspal.com and hooked up with some amazingly motivating ladies from a message board I am on, and have lost 9 pounds in 3 weeks. My food diary is public, so the real motivating factor has been me knowing that other people can see what I'm eating. I do not like being judged on weight, especially not when I know it's utterly my fault for looking like this.

What I am even MORE proud of than the weight loss, though, is the fact that I have had fast food only once in the last three weeks, and had a Coke only twice. It's getting a craving, and still making the choice to eat something different when my mind is saying "Godiva chocolate cheesecake" that impresses me. I hate those diet articles in magazines that say crap like "when you want salty chips, eat veggies and hummus instead" or "choose a piece of fruit instead of a chocolate chip cookie". WTF? I don't want a freaking apple, and my body is smarter than that. If I give it nuts and an apple, it's going to cross it's arms and roll it's collective eyes and be all "this bitch HATES me". And then it will rebel.

But it hasn't. I feel more confident than ever that I can make the right choice 85% of the time, and forgive myself and let it go the other 15.

Also, in other news, I'm raising a toddler. And coming off the heels of the 18 months that I was most terrified of, I thought, this parenting thing is going to be so much easier than I expected. Pre-schoolers have always loved me, listened to me, and done whatever I asked them to. Um, yeah right. Schooled me. The last 6 months have been incredibly difficult as I have dealt with feelings of intense mommy guilt, not feeling like a good parent, not being patient enough, not giving my son enough credit for the great things he does, dwelling on the negative, and basically thinking that he would be better off with anyone besides me for a mom.

It's almost been like I caught post-partum depression, 18 months late.

So I started seeing a counselor. And while I won't go into detail, it has so far been so wonderfully freeing to listen to someone tell me that I'm normal, that I don't need to be embarrassed that I have more internet friends than real life friends, and that I should work on not worrying as much about what other people have going on and how it compares to me.

The only thing that has helped me get through this rough patch more than these appointments (other than a supportive husband who has definitely pulled more parenting duty lately to release some of my burden) are 22 of the most amazing women I have ever known. Every day they confirm for me that my child is not a hellion (or at least not the only 22-month old hellion out there) and that we will all get through this. So far it's been 3 years, give or take, that we've "known" each other, and I hope that it lasts a lifetime, whether we ever get to meet in person or not. And even though I tell them this on our page on occasion, I wanted some PUBLIC way to let them know how much they mean to me. You all know who you are, and I thank God every day for that fateful day when a handful of assorted women climbed into a "tub" together and let their guards down.