Behavioral Adjustments

Wifey had to work late a couple of nights last week. My job was to fetch Timmy from his grandmother’s, bring him home, read him a story, wash him up, brush his teeth, offer his last feed of milk and put him to bed.

Storybook time has always been a little tough. He’d want to snatch the book and flip/fold the pages – refusing to let me read to him. If I held fast to the book, he would get off the bed and go exploring on his own.

So this one evening, he was being particularly restless. He was just about to climb off the bed when I told him that if he did that, I would put him in his cot. He looked me in the eye as if to challenge me, and dismounted. I pulled him back on the bed and we repeated the exercise. This time, just as his feet touched the ground, I swept him into his cot. He started wailing as I left the room.

I went to the kitchen to get the kettle going for his milk. I must have been gone 30 seconds. I got back to the little sobber and asked him if he still wanted a story. He nodded and I carried him onto the bed. There he sat patiently and listened attentively to a Peter Rabbit story – all 10 minutes of it. I gave him his milk and he went to sleep.

The following couple of nights have been brilliant. He sits there, sucking his thumb, or laying down looking at me while I read.

This evening, midway thru a chapter on Mr Jeremy Fisher, wifey came home. I heard the tinkle of the keys first, and soon he heard something too. So I said, “Guess who’s home? Go find out!” He crawls to the edge of the bed, turns around and looks at me for permission. I say, “Go!” and he hops off to find his momma in the living room.

Parenting lessons for me. I’ll see for a few more nights, but for now… success!

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