The views of a rabble-rouser and former stay-at-home dad on protests, politics, parenthood, groupthink, and music.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
A Rough Night
Yesterday, Oliver had a multiple-meltdown afternoon. We went shopping around 4 and stopped in a Barnes & Noble for coffee and cookies. He got completely wild after that (he wanted to go to the kid's section of the bookstore and we didn't have time to go there) and threw himself on the ground. I picked him up and he hit me. Several times, about the head and the neck. He also tried to pinch me in the neck, which he knows drives me crazy and also hurts!
I sat him down on the sidewalk for a timeout. After a few minutes, I asked him if he was able to control himself. He said, no. So I picked him up and brought him to the car.
He tried to blame it on the sugar. "The sugar made me act bad." We told him, angrily, that he's in charge of his own body and nobody makes him behave badly except himself. He was silent after that. I could just feel him fuming in the back seat.
We were planning to go out for dinner, but we told him that we might have to cancel our plans because of his behavior. Meltdown. Timeout. A few minutes later, meltdown again. More hitting. More timeouts.
After some discussion amongst ourselves, we decided to cancel going out to dinner. Which was punishing ourselves, really, but it's awful going out to dinner when he's being wild and uncontrollable. Plus, we wanted him to see hard consequences of his bad behavior. He needs to see that sometimes, just saying he's sorry doesn't fix everything. So we told him about our decision and of course, he melted down again. Wild sobbing, more hitting, more crying, more throwing of things.
It lasted all the way until bedtime, when he hit me on the way into the bedroom. He went to bed by himself for the first time in forever. (Which caused him to whine, "I want somebody to snuggle up with me!" It was a pretty drastic punishment, in his mind. One of us always lays down with him at bedtime.) Sigh.
And then at 3 am, Mrs. B started puking. She's got a nasty stomach bug and a fever to boot. She's upchucked a couple more times and she's been in bed all day. (it's 10:30 Seattle time, and she's still in bed.) So it's just been me and Oliver together all morning while she recovers.
Good news is that Oliver's behaving much better today. But there's no way in hell I'm dragging my poor pukey wife out to dinner tonight.