Sunday, February 17, 2008
See this picture? Ian is extremely sad. But, aha, he's getting a lesson in planning ahead.
We are at a park having a picnic. Both Ian and Laurel are eager to finish eating so they can attack the playground equipment. Ian declares, "I'm finished."
His sandwich is only half eaten, and he has barely touched his carrots or chips. Paul and I comment, "Ian, you will not be able to eat later, so you must finish your lunch now. Do you understand?"
"I understand, I'm done. I want to go play."
I really don't want to argue with him and force him to eat, so I view this as a learning opportunity. We allow Ian to make this choice, and off he heads towards the playground. Laurel is soon in hot pursuit, but being a faster eater, she has already consumed twice as much as Ian.
The two of them have a great time running, climbing and sliding. All too soon, it is time to head home. As we load our little family into the van, Ian asks, "Mommy, can I eat the rest of my lunch now?"
I cringe as I hear the inevitable. Sadly, I respond, "No, Ian. We already ate lunch, but you can drink your water."
"No, mommy, I want to eat my lunch!"
His voice starts to go up an octave, and his breathing gets heavier.
"I'm sorry Ian, lunch time is over." And with that, we buckle up the the kids and drive home. Ian's cries for food continues. Paul and I try our best to not respond. Many thoughts cross my mind about being a bad parent because I am starving my child. As doubt sets in, I look to Paul for reassurance. He looks at me and shakes his head. I take this to mean I should not give in.
Ian continues to cry for about five minutes, and then relaxes. We start to talk about the fun things we did that day and sing some songs. The moment has passed, but hopefully the lesson has stuck. I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.
Posted by Mamacita Tina