down to three

Elliot is visiting his Gramma for a few days, and once again I’m reminded of how easy it is to care for one child when both parents are around. It’d be easier if that one child would SLEEP PAST 6 AM, but seeing as she goes to bed before 7 pm, I can’t complain too much. (Well actually I can and I probably will, since 5:45 am is just plain too early!)

The last night before Elliot went off to Gramma’s wasn’t the best one. I had some trouble getting him into the bathtub, and when the hitting began I started taking away privileges. We managed to get through the evening without too much more turmoil, and while I was happy with how I kept my cool, I wasn’t happy with my choice of consequences for his actions. With the first hit I told him he couldn’t play after his bath anymore (that was how I got him into the bath, with the promise of some playtime afterwards) and with the second hit I took away his nighttime toys — a couple of cars he plays with for a while in bed.

The consequences I chose had no relation to his behaviour, nor did they happen in a timely manner. So I think they were pretty pointless. Problem is, I don’t know what to do about the hitting. And my instincts are failing me with this one. A more natural consequence would be to walk away, but he hits when he’s upset, and if I walk away, his emotions tend to escalate, and he becomes inconsolable. (It’s at this point that I wonder if something is wrong with him, other than the obvious hardship of being three.) I did reassure myself to Greg by recognizing that I’m not hitting him back…so things could be worse!

So yes, this is a break for Greg and I. And Elliot will surely benefit from having some one-on-one time with someone who loves him dearly, and who probably has a bit more patience, simply because she’s his Gramma, not his mother. Not to mention he can avoid the pink eye that Amy has picked up.

And Amy, my early-rising girl, can enjoy some time with Mama and Dada. (Or Mama and Mama as we are currently called.)