Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Law of Spring Break

I cannot be the only one....who has been with a group of people when your child decides to show a less than polite side of their personality, leaving you laying down the law in a little tougher of fashion than usual, much to your chagrin.  This is exactly what happened while we were on our big family Spring Breakin' vacation.


The tent popped-up for three.
Allow me to set the stage for you, camping in San Diego, our little family of three hunkered down in a tent staked out next to the Grandparents RV. A noisy street and a flock of cawing crows making it difficult to sleep past four am, if there was any sleeping happening up to that point anyways, for three consecutive nights.  Tack no sleep up with sore backs from laying on air mattresses, the derailment from any semblance of our usual routine, and you get grumpy adults towing around a feisty kid.  

We took this lovely combo, of over tired adults and off kilter child, and decided to take a trip to the USS Midway Museum. The air craft carrier turned museum entails small spaces, narrow stairwells, and a few unfortunate mannequins, all of which caused Sonny Boy to decide he was finished with the museum and he didn't care who knew it. Sonny Boy stopped on the massive air craft carrier in an under sea level hallway, and told me, "I am done with this tour and I want out of here!" I looked ahead of us and saw no daylight breaking through anytime soon, I looked behind us and saw a long line of brightly dressed tourist holding cameras and audio tour devices, and I bent down to eye level with Sonny Boy and said, in my best impersonation of a mother not on the brink, "To bad, because you are finishing this tour."  This didn't go over well, Sonny Boy dug his heels in against the tide of well-traveled visitors to the USS Midway, making it clear he had no plans of moving, his visit was done, and that was it for him.
USS Midway...and a tourist.

As a Mama stuck between museum goers breathing down my neck and a stubborn six year old, I knew I had to put an end to this situation and do it fast.  I looked into Sonny Boys baby blue eyes and told him quietly, but sternly, that he would be moving his feet, he would stop being stubborn, and that people (including ourselves) had paid money to walk around inside this metal wonder docked off the coast of San Diego and he would NOT be ruining it for anyone, so buck up and start walking.

Surprisingly, it worked.  We kept the flow of tourism moving and eventually made it back to the flight deck and the glorious, glorious sunshine, at which point the Sonny Boy's interest was renewed with the wonder of the enormous ship and we lived the rest of the tour happily ever after.

I know there is a lot of parenting talk about not shaming or yelling at our children, but there are times when I have to shut down the behavior before it gets into full swing terror mode.  I don't like being "that" parent, I'd prefer to be fair, even tempered, and handle childhood with a fashionable flair, but sometimes sleep deprived, at the end of her patience, not-so tolerant-Mama has to step in and get the job done.

Sonny Boy back in the tour game.
I think there are times for rationalizing and making lemonade life lessons out of our children's lemon behavior, but I have to admit there are other times that "Because I say so" is the best way to handle my little person in the making.

4 comments:

  1. Uhhhh, I thought your response was fair and even tempered--and exactly appropriate for the situation. Although maybe I'm biased because I've had to use that technique several times myself.

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    1. Thanks for the support! I felt a little like a dictator in the moment, but were were literally stuck under water and there was no way a full-fledged meltdown was going to happen.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Been there, done that. Good for you, mom! Too many parents today want to negotiate, give in or just give up. Parents seem to forget that today's kids are tomorrows adults.

    I had to deal with a similar situation last summer when the Dayngrous Duo's grandparents came for a visit. I was mortified by their behavior and had to shut it down fast. I couldn't believe my normally good kids were behaving so badly. Dayngr don't play that!

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    1. Thanks for the support! I dislike ruling with an iron fist, but sometimes...it's truly the only way to keep the little ones from taking the wheel and driving the family off the road.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

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