Ok, so a bit of background for this one. This is kind of a venty rant because my mother does that to me, but I would love some genuine ideas.
It was effing hot today so DS was basically housebound. My mum (visiting from OS for DS's birthday) came over this morning after checking out from her hotel at 10, but she couldn't check in to her new apartment place til 2 so we hung out at FOB's where I have been staying while he was at work.
The new check in place required her to ring up when she arrived so she wanted me to go with her and ring as her phone doesn't work in Aus for some reason. I suggested I could ring when she in the taxi was on its way up there but she didn't want to do that. I was already a bit narky with her because the first thing she did when she arrived was give DS some chocolate frogs. He hadn't even had breakfast yet! Then I felt this demand was pretty unreasonable on top of it all.
So anyway, we piled into the taxi in 35 degree heat, then had to wait outside in the sun for the people to let her in. I got to carry her stuff up two flights of stairs while she complained the whole way about being put upstairs. There was literally nothing for DS to do at the apartment except watch TV and play with his toy cars and he was a bit stir crazy.
He did really well for a while (and she is like OCD obsessive about cleanliness so she was following him round, straightening up things behind him, attacking him with tissues etc). Then of course he did a poo and of course I forgot nappies and wipes so I had to go for a walk to get it all.
By the time I came back she was making little pointed comments about him being full on etc. FOB called and was going to come and pick us up in about 30 minutes.
DS then started to repeatedly jump off the couch. It was bugging mum, so I tried to say that he was doing really well all things considered and I try to pick my battles, but I could tell it was bothering her so I tried to support her and ask him to stop. No deal. I took him into the bedroom and gave him a little time out. He went and apologised then continued to do it.
Anyway, mum ended up barking at him, I barked at mum for barking at him, she said 'do you really have no more strategies to make him behave?' I asked her, in all seriousness, for suggestions. Of course she had none. She was worried about the people in the apartment below being annoyed (if there were any there). As usual her concern about perceived social niceties caused her to be stressed and this escalated in talking to my son in a way that I have rarely been pushed to.
So, experienced mummies, what more could I have done? I was basically pinning him in my arms to get him to stop, meanwhile feeling empathy for him for being pent up all day. My back went into spasm from trying to restrain him.
If I had had his pusher I would have piled him in and walked home. If it wasn't late afternoon on a Friday I would have called a taxi but it would have been a long wait and tbh I don't have that kind of money just to throw around. I tried to distract him but he just had all this pent up energy. FOB was arriving any minute now. Short of removing him from the situation or telling me I was woefully underprepared (which I know), what else could I try next time?
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09-10-2015 19:16 #1
Extremely long ranty WWYD
09-10-2015 19:34 #2
How about running him a bath to have a play in? It would keep him contained in one room for a bit, and would cool him down on a hot day.
I'm sorry your mum wasn't very tolerant or understanding. My DS is super active and has to touch EVERYTHING, so I can definitely empathise.
09-10-2015 19:56 #3
There was no bath :-( but I am too lazy so probably wouldn't have thought of that. Ok: next time - in the bath. For eleventy hours!
09-10-2015 20:01 #4Senior Member
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I would have found a way of distracting him while physically keeping him away from the lounge.
Repeatedly jumping off a lounge in an apartment/hotel would not have been acceptable for me, especially seeing as it was your mum's place.
Edit- however I must say that I get pretty wiped in hot weather, and I don't know how much energy I would have had to do so!
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09-10-2015 20:42 #5
I would have said 'oh, he's probably just hyped up because he had chocolate for breakfast'
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09-10-2015 20:42 #6Senior Member
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I'd hate it, but I'd offer him my iPad/phone. He rarely gets it so it's like gold to him. I hate using that method but when you're at your wits end...!
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09-10-2015 20:46 #7
Personally i would have tried to avoid getting into the situation. I would have left my mum to deal with her own accommodation. My ds is 20 months so there is no way I could have expected him to "behave" in those circumstances.
09-10-2015 20:52 #8
My kids are super active, & they tend to pick up on my anxious 'sit down & shut up' vibe that I'm throwing out. I usually would suggest we go outside for a run around (not possible in that situation?),use the phone or Ipad, snacks if I had them,or I usually keep stickers, a few pencils &paper in my bag. That usually buys me 5 mins. Honestly though,there probably isnt much you could do. Many toddlers can just 'sit' for ages,its just not within their capabilities. She should have been more understanding.
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09-10-2015 20:56 #9-
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I think the best Strategy is prevention and distraction. Don't take your kid out when they are tired or when it's hot. If you do take them out go prepared with coloring books, DVDs, books etc. That being said... I totally get how things pop up and being prepared doesn't happen. Found myself in a pickle today and the fact I didn't come prepared with toys etc bit me in the butt.
I am a bit like your mum - worried
about what others would think. I don't think I could ring from a taxi to announce my arrival. What if the people just lived next door and were waiting for 10 mins until the taxi arrived....
I am also like your mum and worried about noise and what neighbors think. I am very anti jumping on couches. I tell my kids couches are for bottoms. They go jump on them, then I tell them again they are for bottoms.
Since having kids I am very empathetic toward other parents when their kids chucking Wobblies and doing stuff that is naughty. Mainly because I've been there, others have shown me empathy which has been very much appreciated.
As for the situation in the unit I think it was mostly too late in terms of ensuring your DS's behavior was perfect He's tired, no toys, it's hot. You couldn't change that so disaster was probably going to happen regardless. The only things I can think of are:
2) games on I phone
4) taking child for walk outside
If my mum did what your mum did I would have firmly told her "look - I know my DS's behavior triggers and to ensure his behavior I should never have taken him out in the heat without any toys. But I did it to help you. The cost of that help is a wobbly and some jumping on the couch. So suck it up."
As always Harvs - I think you are a tops mum xx
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09-10-2015 21:03 #10Senior Member
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- Sep 2014
I'd like to think I would have told my mum she's old enough to sort out her own accommodation / take you up on the offer to call when closer.. But I probably would have caved as well.
As for keeping a toddler entertained in a small space like that? I like the idea of water play so a bath or shower time, depending on age maybe sit down and "read a book" - use any magazine etc they usually leave in those apartments and just make up stories. Tupperware - there's always something in those cupboards he could have banged around for awhile.
I doubt there is anything at all you could do to lower the noise level - kids make noise (of course there are acceptable levels but sounds like your mum wasn't tolerant of anything).
You did the best you could with what you had/could come up with in the moment - well done getting through it without any support from the only other person with you!
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