Challenge week 5: My husband is losing weight

            Because our children have much in common, Sara recommended I read The Challenging Child.  All too often, we can end up focusing on Zachary’s demanding or complicated behavior without honoring it as a part of the beautiful child who will spend an hour focused on a single activity or who asks the baby if her v@gina is OK after Benjamin hits her in that vicinity with a toy.  This book offers some concrete ways to positively parent five types of challenging kids, including Mr. Highly Sensitive over here.

            So, I tried to put Greenspan’s recommendations into practice the other evening.  You see, we have only to sets of red pajamas.  Benjamin got out of the bath first and claimed the red footed ones, which the boys refer to as the “baby jamas.”  Zachary decided he needed red pajamas, too; perhaps he was planning on auditioning for the stage version of Nabakov’s Pale Fire.  Tragically, the red footless pajamas (“adult jamas,” maybe?) were in the washing machine, which had not even hit the rinse cycle yet.

            Little Man would not be reasoned with.  He wanted red pjs.  He needed red pjs.  J was getting frustrated, so we did the tantrum-swap and he walked away when I tagged in. 

            “These have red on them,” I offered.

            “Not enough,” Zach replied.

            “How about pink ones?”

            “I want red pajamas.”

            “Would you like a red shirt?” I offered.

            “I want red pajamas,” he cried, desperately convinced that no other pajamas would do.  To recap: two pairs of red pjs – one on his brother, the other soaking wet and locked into our front-loading washer.  It was clear standing there offering substitutes would not work because there were no viable substitutes.  And Greenspan cautions against simply cutting off negotiations, explaining we need to set limits while honoring that he has real feelings attached to his behavior.  I needed to get down on his level and talk to him, to explain he could not have Ben’s pjs but to offer to change him later in the night or the next day or to give him first dibs the next night.

            I got down on my knees to talk with him.  “Ow!  Oh, my god.  OW!!”  It would appear my knees were not responding well to my running so soon after having a baby.  I was supposed to wait six months, but I just wanted so badly to be out there.  Bad idea, babe.  Really fucking bad idea.

            And so, I am not running anymore.  I am walking plenty, since Lilah has decided that she likes morning nap strapped to my chest.  At least she doesn’t care what color she has on.

            But, the walking appears to simply cancel out the ice cream, and I am exactly the same weight I was.

            And the next night, everyone insisted on blue pajamas.

16 responses to “Challenge week 5: My husband is losing weight

  1. I wonder if that book would have made life any easier for me with my challenging child.

  2. of course they did, and tomorrow it will be yellow. *sigh*

  3. This sounds awfully familiar…I may need to read that book.

  4. Some times are just like that. Another good book is “Raising Your Spirited Child”.

  5. Parenting and running are HARD.

    Okay, so maybe parenting is a little harder, but easier on the knees.

  6. Acknowledging that he wanted them and meaning it is half the battle.

    I lost another pound, mostly from taking care of a sick child who would not let me put him down which translated into skipping meals.

  7. Good thing I don’t like running. My knees can thank my lazy tendencies.

    Maybe I should look for that book, though.

  8. Glad you’re back. We had a similar thing when we visited some friends who had 3 boys and our 2-year-old daughter proudly pranced out with her beloved red Spiderman PJs. Three boys crying at the top of their lungs! Maybe boys just cry when they see red.

    Knees are no joke, get good, professionally fitted shoes, wear a knee brace, take those wierd shark bone clam shell supplements from Trader Joe’s. And consider walking or biking instead of running.

  9. Two pounds down – actually got on the scale to check finally. Bit of a surprise as I haven’t been able to exercise as I’d like. However, back to the lunch hour walk this week. I love to run but sadly my knees don’t let me any more – too much ballet as a kid I think – so I can sympathize with the twinges!

  10. Hm. My knee crapped out this morning. Maybe there’s something in the air, LOL. I’m back on the glucosamine-chondroiton (sp?) supplements.

    My mom swore by the book, “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk.” She read pretty much EVERY book she could get her hands on re: raising kids (um, apparently *I* was the challenging one), and found that one when I was about 7. She said it was the only one that worked on us. It worked on me, my then-4-year-old sister, and eventually on the third (yet-to-be-born-at-that-point) kid.

    And on behalf of challenging children everywhere . . . sorry about that. Really. 😉

  11. Ouch! So, did the technique work? Because, if I don’t end negotiations w/ my 9 YO they will last for ever. Or maybe I am just not ending them correctly.

  12. Here’s what you need to do… just buy fifty pairs of the exact same pajamas, and fifty pairs of the exact same daytime outfit. That way, there is nothing left to argue about! 😉

  13. Ouch Emily – for the knees and the pj battles. Zach has your number big time! I would probably have tried to be all empathic and agreed with him that it’s really horrible that he couldn’t have the red pjs. That he was probably really frustrated and angry about it etc. while I recited a mantra to myself about “surviving the baby’s rage”. I love that last line 😉

  14. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh out loud, but BLUE pajamas?? That was great.

    My knees are SO shot, that i use the recumbent bike at the gym. It’s the ONLY thing that doesn’t inflame them, and it is GREAT.

  15. i keep gaining. ack. i’m up 4 pounds since I started.

    must. stop. eating.

  16. If it’s not the red pajamas, you know it will be something else. What something else is always the mystery. I can anticipate some of the areas that might cause C to get stuck but truthfully, it amazes me at times the things he latches on to AND some the stuff my husband and I arbitrarily draw lines about.

    Since reading Greenspan, I’ve tried to remember that C is really feeling this stuff when he digs his heels in; he’s not trying to be a pain in the arse, he just feels this thing at this moment deeply. That doesn’t mean, of course, that the red and blue pajamas ‘discussions’ don’t make me crazy still….

    Sorry about the knee.