For a while there Ben was really testing my patience and my sanity. His behavior was getting out of control and one day James commented that he thought that Ben was really starting to like being bad. Not in a psychotic sorta way, but being bad (i.e. annoying everyone in the house anyway he could) was becoming his entertainment, his fun. Two things had to be done. We had to nip that bad behavior in the bud through discipline, and two, I had to stop letting him get to the point of boredom when at home that he needed to find creative ways to entertain himself. So James enforced the hour long timeout. Yes, one hour. The first time he was sent on this extra long timeout in his room he cried for over half the time. Luckily James and I are pretty tough (i.e. slightly cold-hearted), and didn't really let it get to us. The second time I had to enforce it went pretty smooth. Actually too smooth. You don't want your kid to be miserable or fighting you tooth to nail when you are disciplining him, but you also don't want it to be too easy on him. He went into his room with only a little hesitation and then all was quiet. A little too quiet. I checked on him maybe fifteen minutes after sending him in there, and there he was. In his bed. Fast asleep. But actually it seems to be doing the trick so far. When we give him a warning that he is in danger of a "long timeout," he knows we are not messing around and corrects his behavior. As for my part, I'm trying to be better too. While my kid has no shortage of extra curricular activities I plan for him outside the home (camps, park play dates, kids gym, etc.), I can be a little preoccupied when at home. I'm trying to take more timeouts and play. This seems to be an increasingly difficult thing for me as I've gotten older. But I'm working on it. I'm also just working on me. My health mainly. My migraines have been getting out of hand over the last few months. It had gotten to the point where I was having two a week, which would last each two days. And on the days that I wasn't having a migraine, my head just felt cloudy- always on the verge of one. And my two week hiatus from exercising I know was not helping me. I'm now on a preventative medication and the cloud has lifted. No migraines for five days now. And I also got my booty back in the gym. Which feels great- although my quads would beg to differ So the last two days I'm happy to say have been much better days.
Yesterday it was a bike ride to the park.
Jackson and I lay on a blanket together watching big brother have a blast running around in the fountains.
I pushed my two sons on swings and was flooded with memories of baby Ben on the swings in the park in front of our Utah student apartment.
Today it was a family walk down to our little neighborhood park. (All pics are from yesterday. No my children don't wear the same clothes two days in a row). : )
I had to smile to myself thinking how lucky I am to have a baby completely content sitting in his stroller chewing on the arm strap.
And I loved watching Ben walk around the park gathering treasures to place in his beloved bird's nest, which he created the time before at the park and had placed in a bush for safe keeping.
Not all days are going to be great. Some really stink. But if you choose to you can always make the next day better. Last week I drove my children an hour away, paid for parking, and walked everyone over to a deserted coliseum. Turns out the circus was not that night after all. Ben cried. Understandably so. Even as an adult I was really disappointed not to be watching a fun show that night. But guess what, that circus is tomorrow night. At least we didn't miss it. And at least tomorrow is going to be a much better day than that one.