I got the car stroller at the mall, he loves cars but not today. My adorable boy has learned how to unattach the buckle and take off quicker than I can realize what's happening. I stopped to get us a drink and he was GONE, I found him spoke firmly to him and yet it kept happening.
We do not live close, I cannot just punish him by saying that's it, we're going home, home is 40 minutes away from any type of stores. He has a one-track mind, whatever it is he thinks he wants. He is loud and can get physical when I try to restrain him.
I've used gentle diversions, today while Camille was getting her haircut I played with him with various little games in my lap. Pretending he was an airplane, ride the little horsey, told him stories, etc. That didn't stop him from fighting me to get down, he wanted to sit in one of the swirl chairs which is against the rules. I got two fat lips b/c he headbutted me in his attempts to get out of my grasp.
My boy went out of my sight 5x today and blasted if I didn't think for a second that I should try to scare him into thinking he'd lost me. He has no understanding of physical boundaries although until about now he's always been right THERE with ME. He fights to be put into buggy seats, we have a battle of wills just to hold my hand to cross the parking lot. I stand there saying we're not going anywhere until he holds my hand. He relents but MY GOODNESS it takes 2-3 minutes. It's only by the grace of God that he hasn't gotten a bee in his bonnet to run to the door of the store by himself, ignoring any and all traffic.
I explain that cars cannot see him, I explain, explain, explain. So tell me, do I tether him? Leaving him at home is not a solution, babysitters are not a solution. I think after we move we will put him in preschool 1 or 2 days a week so that he has to listen to another adult. I'm his solitary caregiver/disciplinarian, DH is not really involved b/c of his work/school schedule. I have no angst against DH, I just want to find some way to take my boy to public places safely and without raising my blood pressure through the roof!
This does not happen EVERY time, it's only when we're not going someplace HE wants to go. If a child-oriented place is on the horizon and he gets threatened not to be able to go, he straightens right up.
Solutions to try:
1. In stores, give him a task to do or play a game to keep him close and engaged.
2. Child safety harness (tether), I will try the others before this
3. Train him in a safe public place about holding on to a shopping cart, and how far away from me is too far for places that do not have shopping carts like the mall.
He's about to be 4 and I know there will be a huge awakening to the realization of "danger" by the time he's 5 but I don't think I can go through another public outing like yesterday.
Saturday, May 10, 2008