Thursday, December 8, 2011

The mule

This doesn't happen very often, but occasionally, my son can be extremely stubborn.  Like a mule.  Seriously.  Last night he tested our patience to the max!  He always asks us what is for dinner.  He usually says he doesn't want it, or doesn't like it, and then proceeds to eat it.  At times under protest and with a lot of prompting, but for the most part, he eats what we eat.  Last night was a different event altogether.  He persisted in saying I don't want that, I don't like that, and then refused to even sit at the table.  Behaviour like that doesn't get him very far with me.  I walked him over to the time out area and told him to sit until he was ready to come and eat.  And the yelling started.  I don't want to, I don't want it, essentially different variations of the same expression.  He got louder, and louder, so he was ushered upstairs to his room by dear daddy.  And then we realized how powerful his lungs really are, there was yelling, crying, stomping...very charming. 

So what did daddy and I do?  We continued to eat our dinner.  Soon, our little darling got tired and I heard a small, tentative, Mommy, can I come down yet?  I said yes and he came over, apologized for being rude and for yelling.  We asked him to sit and eat, and he still refused.  So we sent him back upstairs and asked him to put on his PJ's.  If he wasn't going to eat then he needed to get ready for bed.  Daddy and I finished our dinner and so I headed upstairs to check on him.  Found him flat on his face asleep on his bed.  He didn't even make it all the way in.  His upper body was on the bed and his feet were still on the floor.  I changed him into his PJ's, did a quick brush of his teeth and put him back to bed where he was asleep again in record time.

My son is amazing, one of the best behaved kids I have personally ever met, but he does have his moments.  Often when he is exhausted.  He will never admit that he is tired though.  He doesn't often look tired.  This is a signal that is not well developed for him and we have a hard time identifying, until he has this type of reaction. 

So, lesson learned.  A tantrum, or whatever you like to call it, is not always related to the issue in that moment.  There is often an underlying something else going on.  I gave him the same plate of dinner today when we got home after work/school and he ate the whole thing with not one complaint.  

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