Friday, January 7, 2011
Lesson Learned. Finally.
I've mentioned before how Dan and I like to document our children's fits. We find them entertaining. Most of the time. And I was all set to write a cute little post about Camden's latest - his "Day on the Couch" - until it hit me that this one isn't entertaining. It's a learning experience for me. So, this post isn't funny. But it's true and from the heart. It's what I learned tonight. Here goes...
Camden spent Sunday on the couch. Literally. All day. The angry - even violent - fit he threw for a good part of the morning landed him on the living room couch, where he stayed (under the watchful eye of his father) while Jake and I went to church for the afternoon. By the time we got home he was asleep. "Oh, thank goodness. That's exactly what he needs," I told myself.
After the multiple, very public (thank goodness the public was all family who will love us anyway), fits of the day before, I had convinced myself that the child was "over-vacationed." It was time to get home and back to our steady routine. And sleep.
Sunday was bad. Really bad. But Monday would be better. He would sleep from 3:00 straight through til morning. And then he would be my happy little Cam again. I really like my happy little Cam. Everybody does - you just can't help yourself.
But Monday morning was bad. My happy little Cam was still possessed by an angry, wrathful monster. I sent him to school. Unhappy.
Should I tell you about Monday afternoon, Tuesday, Wednesday... You get it, right?
Camden is unhappy. And as I sat thinking about ways to discipline him and teach him to behave and calm down, I remembered having the same dilemna - albeit on a much smaller level - a full month ago. And I remembered figuring out the answer.
The answer wasn't a new discipline strategy or lesson. The answer was that this sweet (usually) little boy needed some one-on-one time with his mommy. A month ago. A month ago, I knew Camden and I needed to have some time. But it didn't happen. Life got in the way. There were basketball games and homework and errands. Dan was gone most of the last month. Then there was snow. It was fun to have the boys home for the snow days, but that wasn't very conducive to "one-on-one" time. And then it was Christmas. Wonderful family time. We loved every minute of it. But Camden and Mommy? No, that didn't happen.
And here we are, a full month later. Has our problem resolved? No. It's just gotten so much worse. Has the solution changed? No. It's just gotten so much more important.
Tomorrow, instead of the photo editing I really need to be doing, I'll be stealing away with my younger son. Because I'm finally figuring out what I thought I already knew. What my children need from me is my time and attention. And it's high time this one gets it.