Although I already knew that, I don’t think Thomas quite grasped where I was coming from until today.. when aaaaalll of the ‘rules’ I made and worrying I did rang true.
People need to understand that no matter what- Mommy knows best. Period. There’s no ifs ands or buts about it.
While I fully believe that discipline is absolutely necessary when raising a child, in a way, Thomas and I’s approach to parenting is pretty laid back. We know that Holden is independent, that he likes to do his own thing, that he doesn’t like to be crowded- so we let him do his own thing (within reason). If he wants us to play with him, he play with him, if he doesn’t- we don’t. We know that when he eats, you can’t hover over him like a mama bird or he won’t eat at all. We know he doesn’t like to be carried around like a little baby, because he isn’t a little baby anymore (and he thinks he’s much older than 20 months).
All the rules I made for new people when around Holden for the first (or one of the first) times were for good reason.
Today at lunch, we were at a busy restaurant with Thomas’ family, which is already problem #1 for Holden. He loves watching people, he gets distracted easily.. which makes eating for him hard when there’s so much noise and so many people. He’d rather be watching them than stuffing his face (unless it’s something he REALLY likes.) Add that to new people not quite understanding or listening to what i’ve warned them about (or had Thomas warn them about), and basically talking to him and trying to get his attention the entire meal (and I do mean the entire meal) made for a complete and total meltdown, the likes of which I have NEVER seen.
Holden is usually so well behaved in restaurants and in public. I see other kids throwing fits and think “wow.. he really is a pretty good kid, even if he’s psychotic at home.”
He was that kid today, only worse. He couldn’t get a bite to eat in without someone calling his name, and this lead to him beginning to squirm and whine. Already out of character for him. Him being upset led to even more attention being focused his way by people he isn’t really all that comfortable with- so squirming and whining turned to screaming and crying, and even taking him outside, twice, did not help.
Finally we thought something might really be wrong with him, since we’d NEVER seen him so upset, and he wouldn’t really make eye contact with me, so we decided to pack up and leave.
As soon as we got into the car, and away from all the people- he was PERFECTLY NORMAL AGAIN. I’d go as far to say he was happy. Even started to fall asleep.
To you, this may seem like the act of an overtired child.. not to us. He even slept in this morning, I knew he wasn’t tired.. and it was BARELY after his nap time when we got home- so he shouldn’t have been tired in the restaurant. It was a simple case of over-stimulation and being smothered (for him) by people he isn’t comfortable with (it’s not that I don’t understand wanting to talk to and interact with Holden when you haven’t gotten to see him, it’s just that I don’t understand not listening to me when I say it’s going to make him freak out).
I think if he had been left to just eat his lunch, like Thomas and I usually do, only talking to him when he isn’t busy chewing or trying to eat, not staring at him the whole meal.. and not been constantly distracted.. things wouldn’t have turned south like they did.
Whining or just being bratty is one thing, but a total freak out like that can’t happen again when it’s easily avoidable.
Everyone just needs to LISTEN TO MOMMY (aka me).I make sense, damnit.
And now.. Thomas finally gets it. It only took Holden acting like he was dying for it to sink in, but he gets it. I wasn’t being an over protective bitch.. I just know Holden. I know him better than I know myself. And it freaked me out to have him act like a child I did NOT know today when he was screaming and writhing like that.
I will not have that happen again, it’s not fair to Holden. I am even more certain in my ways now, I know that my instincts are right (as mommy instinct usually is, TRUST IT people), and what I say goes– no exceptions. If I have to be mean or forceful to do so, I will- because i’ll say it again- that can NOT happen again.
It’s not a matter of staying away from him- it’s about letting him get used to you, and letting him come to you when he is ready. That is what he likes, it’s what makes him comfortable- anything else will no longer fly.
I’m glad Thomas gets it- now it’s everyone else that needs to follow suit.
If you like to be constantly criticized over your peanut butter to jelly ratio on sandwiches, being a parent is definitely for you.
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