Kids are always changing. Life is continually changing. Our little man is changing. He’s becoming less inclined to just go with the flow of what his parents want. He wants to be independent. He’s nearly 2 and a half.
Nowadays our outings, that can be so much fun and have me brimming with gratitude, can suddenly go pear shaped. There might be a brief stare off between us before I scoop him up and carry him, kicking and screaming, off to wherever it is we’re going.
It happened today at the pool, he had his weekly swimming lesson, we played in the big pool afterwards, things were great. An hour went by, I started to tire of being in the pool.
“Do you want to get out now and have something to eat”
“No” he answered definitely.
“No problems” I thought to myself. I like him getting the exercise and I love seeing him having a great time so we stayed a while longer. I remember as a kid I never wanted to get out of the water either.
“Time to go now buddy”
“Yes it is pal”
“Nooooo” he cried as I dragged him off to the change room.
He escaped my grip and stood his ground defiantly. We stared at each other. He seemed deadly serious. I was trying not to laugh. One of the lifeguards walked past and chuckled. I scooped the little guy up again. He cried. We rinsed ourselves under the shower. He cried. Other people leisurely dried themselves after their swim as my optimistic attitude began to fade.
I took out some of our snacks and that calmed him while we dressed. Then he started entertaining himself by spitting chewed up segments of mandarin onto the floor.
“Don’t do that please Fletch”
He did it again. Needless to say I carried him crying back to the car, but not before he placed his hand in the urinal when I was helping him to pee. I lost count of how many times I said “Don’t do that” today.
Of course it’s all just standard kid stuff and no big deal. What has really stood out to me though in the past couple of days is how I need to keep adapting as a parent as the kids continue to change. Strategies need to be updated, refined or cast aside and new strategies developed. Doubt can sometimes come in and I’ll think things like “What if I’m not doing a good job” or “Am I really a good dad after all?”
Thankfully I have friends with kids to talk to and helps me greatly. The old taking it “One day at a time” strategy is a real winner for me. My amazing wife and I work well as a team too. Somedays even just getting through the day and getting them into bed at night feels like major accomplishment.
It’s never boring that’s for sure.
Can you relate to any of this?
Please feel free to share.