There are a number of different aspects of the 3.75 crazies that get me down. The plastic dinosaur fights leave bruises on my hands. The endless stalling makes me want to pull my hair out. Oh, and the spitting, I don't even know what to say about the spitting. But the worst part of it is that at times it makes me feel like a bad parent.
Recently, I feel like all I'm doing is correcting, and counting, and taking away privileges. I feel like I'm always coming down on Michael for something. That's not how I want things to be. I realize that there will always be a need for constancy and consequences, but sometimes it feels like that's all I ever do. After a while, it makes me feel like maybe I'm just flat out doing something wrong. Add lost sleep and stress over missed days of work and I start questioning myself.
This weekend was a nice break from that. Michael was so good all weekend long. He played nicely with some kids on Friday during our snow day. On Saturday he was mostly good as we ran errands and did shopping. We played in the snow again, and for once he didn't fight me when I said it was time to go in. Then yesterday he was a perfect angle at the grocery store.
The biggest reward came when we ran to the local Learning Express store. I told him on the ride over that we were only going to buy some train track and a new place mat. No letters, no blocks. Just the track and the place mat.
No problem! He played with the toys throughout the store. He didn't try to get into anything that wasn't already set out for demonstration. I let him pick out a place mat, and he didn't hem and haw over various choices. He didn't try to get me to buy anything extra. And when it was time to leave, he left! It was wonderful.
But, the best moment came when the manger walked by us. We had been in the store for about 30 minutes playing with the trains and the race tracks. She made a point to stop and tell me that I'm a very patient mother. She completely made my day. I've been so caught up in the frustration that comes with 3.75, that I may not have been appreciating the good times that come with 3.75. It was nice to realize that just because it feels like I'm always yelling or counting or dodging a lick on the face, doesn't mean that that's all that's going on. It was nice to have someone call a good moment to my attention, and it let me enjoy the moment for what it was. Simply nice.