Thursday, May 27, 2010

Run Away

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'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.


linda rp said...

The place I would worry about is the parking lot or near a street...M was very fast as a toddler and I was not...luckily my husband was fast the time we were at a Charlie Browns on Rte 22 the entrance being 2 feet from the highway and our daughter, then age 2, shot out the door running towards the highway....I've seen people with these soft harnesses and leashes for kids...the car thing is what worries me...unless TB can be recruited to help secure his YB in car seat or stroller and be too occupied with this task to escape...

Heather said...

I always tell Audrey that if she doesn't hold my hand, I will pick her up. I know it is kind of hard to do with Meatball in your arms, but maybe you could try.

This age is so difficult because you want them to have the independence but they aren't quite ready for that much.

Rebecca said...

You could try asking him to help you with something. Hold your keys, help strap Meatball in, open the door, close the door??

Or, if you are putting them in the car, maybe ask him if he wants to "drive" and let him sit in the driver's seat?

Or maybe put a special toy in the car that he rarely sees that he can play with so he will be in a hurry to get into the car as well?

I haven't had this problem with B, best of luck to you!!

Erin said...

Sometimes I give Sullivan (8/25/07) a little job to do while waiting for me to get to him for buckling in. I also play games like: can you stand on one foot while mommy does..., or can you touch your [insert body part here] with your [insert other body part here]? He also has a Curious George stuffed toy and a Cabbage Patch baby that he loves, so I always put him in charge of taking care of George or Baby, like oh no, George is sad and needs to hold his hand, or Baby is trying to run away, can you hold her here?

At this age they are testing us, but like to feel like they are important and have a job to do.

I have four kids and S is the youngest, so I hope these tips help!

Jennifer said...

I hate it when DD runs scares the crud out of me. We've been working on this and she is much better. I definitely couldn't catch her easily while pg. I usually grab her (when I catch her) and bring her to my eye level and tell her firmly "you do NOT run is not safe!" If we are somewhere I don't have to stay (ie outside playing not the grocery store) then we leave. I tell her she ran off and now we have to go home. Of course there are many times I threaten to go home but don't always follow through. I'm sure that doesn't help. :p. She is better which helps because now we have #2, so hopefully it sticks when I start taking both out.

Oh...and I tell her ahead of time. We can't go if you run away or we have to leave if you run off...etc.

mommybird said...

my son is the Boy's age and we had this problem one time. I fixed it by letting him and his big sister in the car first. He tries to do his own car seat straps while I'm getting the baby in. When we get out, I get the baby out first and in her carrier or stroller then get him out. It works for us.

JC said...

Well, you vetoed both things that crossed my mind. :) But, there are several suggestions on here that might help. I really like the putting him in the car first before you buckle the baby in. Hope you all have a great weekend!

JC said...

Well, you vetoed both things that crossed my mind. :) But, there are several suggestions on here that might help. I really like the putting him in the car first before you buckle the baby in. Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Jessica Galan said...
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