I mean I've grown as a parent. Is there any better feeling in the world than conquering some difficult situation that seemed insurmountable just weeks ago?
Some of you may remember the Trader Joe's Meltdown of the Century that we had a while back. It was a mega-tantrum that culminated in me yelling at Katie and frantically driving her home while she screamed and tried to wiggle out of her car seat, then me bursting into tears and apologizing to her when we got home.
Well, today we went to Target, and of course, made our usual detour to Babies R Us to ride the "Elmo Zoe Vroom Vroom Car." On the way back to the car, Katie refused to ride in the cart. She wanted to stand on the side of the cart and hold onto the edge, and since it was only about 4 inches off the ground, I let her. Good practice for the cable cars, I figured. Eventually she fell off and nearly rolled under the cart wheels, but she got up with hardly a whimper and not so much as a scratch. Whew.
|The Powell-Hyde line, via Target|
But I could see the writing on the wall - refusal to ride in the cart usually means something's brewing. And by "something," I mean a tantrum. Okay, stay calm. We made our way to the car with Katie "helping" me push the cart. When we reached the car, Katie decided the trunk would be a nice place to "Katie climb!" At this point I was low on sleep and hungry, and I just wanted to get home. So I said no and picked her up and tried to put her into her car seat. You can just imagine how well that went. Much like Trader Joe's. But this time, I didn't panic. I got into the back seat with her, and shut the door. I didn't try to force her into the car seat, and in fact, I stopped talking about leaving altogether. I started picking up trash from the back seat, and let Katie crawl around the car as she pleased. The instant I stopped trying to force her, she calmed down. I found some stickers and one of Katie's favorite books underneath the passenger seat. And wouldn't you know it? She got really interested in them and let me put her in the car seat. No struggles, no screams, no tears, no yelling (from me).
Hooray! I'm not saying it will always work out this nicely, but I'm so relieved to know that I have other options besides yelling. I really feel I owe it all to Katie's preschool, which introduced me to "Positive Discipline."
|Elmo Car Vroom Vroom! I have about 100 pics of this same pose, as we seem to go there about once a week. It never gets old.|