While it feels nice to deal with typical 2-year-old problems, I'm at the point where I need some help with this one.
The Boy has developed a habit of running from me. Pretty much whenever he gets the chance. He does it when I am attempting to strap Meatball in his carseat. Or, in the house, when I am trying to dress him. Or in the yard, when he decides that he'd like to go for a walk. Or in a restaurant, when he decides that he is bored.
Not going on outings for the next several years certainly occurred to me. However, that's not much fun.
I know that this is a typical two-year-old problem. And I know that each situation may have its own solution. Today, when I was at a restaurant with a friend and her daughter, I bit the bullet and put The Boy in a high chair instead of letting him sit in a regular chair, as he has usually done. When it is an option, I don't mind walking The Boy around in a restaurant while we wait for food. As for getting dressed, there is only so much space in the house, and it isn't too tricky to get him while still keeping Meatball safe.
But what in the world do I do when I tell him to stay with me while I put Meatball in the carseat and he just takes off? When I can use the stroller, I do, because he'll stay in there. At least long enough to get buckled. But if I'm carrying Meatball, I have to put him down before taking care of The Boy. In both cases today where he ran off, he ended up halfway down the block. The second time, he was picked up by a very understanding woman (who has little kids of her own) and delivered back to me.
Plenty of people who otherwise don't find spanking to be effective will employ it in cases like this. Not gonna lie--it crossed my mind. But I don't see it working with The Boy...it's as if he waits for his moment and exploits it, and spanking won't change that. There are also various baby-leashes, and I just don't see myself doing that either. It's degrading for both of us. Not that I care what people think, but I don't want people seeing me using a leash for my kid.
I think I just have to be more vigilant, and more careful, whenever I am trying to take both kids out somewhere. I have to put Meatball in the carrier more often, or use the stroller when I need to and even when I think I don't. And if I think he needs to sit in a high chair at a restaurant, then that's where he will sit. He really didn't complain about it this afternoon, truth be told.
I want him to be a big boy. I want him to be able to grow up and make good decisions. But he's a 2-year-old. Despite the fact that he possesses the capacity to do things like sit in a regular chair at a restaurant, stay next to me when I ask him to, and take himself to the bathroom instead of pointedly pooping on the floor whenever I'm not paying attention, he's not going to do it just because he can.
It's a power struggle.
But the mistake that I won't make, because I'll just become an angry harried mom, is trying to struggle with The Boy. I need to get ahead of him and act, rather than react. That's my job. He just needs to do what he's going to do and I need to set him up for success.
Even so...I would always appreciate suggestions as to how to stop him from running away.