Damn, this kid raising can really suck. Nathan is a kid that never stops moving. Even when strapped in his car seat his feet are dancing and his shoulders are shimming. He is a busy kid. He wants to explore and touch and learn how things operate and get a closer, no, closer look.
At home this is fine. He knows the rules and they are enforced. If you ram into the dog with your rocket you loose the rocket for the entire day. We park it in the garage and say goodbye and discuss why you’ve lost the rocket. He promptly collapses to the floor and wails, rolling around inconsolable. And, good. He gets it. The rest of the day when he asks for his rocket I remind him that he can’t have it until tomorrow, more crying. Awesome. He gets it!
But then we go out. Not a big deal at Target if he wants down. He “helps” me push the cart and loves to walk the store, he is great with putting things back. And, no one cares if a 20 month old is free in Target at 9am on Tuesday. So, big deal. He’s happy, I’m happy. Not such a good thing though when you’re entertaining new staff on a Friday night in a Downtown restaurant.
He wants down. Of course he wants down. Because I give him too much freedom. I let him explore and wander and why wouldn’t he want that here, now? He sings “all done” over and over and gets angry when I offer his cup or more grapes. His face is turning red “ALLDONE!ALLDONE” and I know he’s about to blow a gasket. We are with strangers in a full restaurant. To avoid total meltdown I set him in my lap. Noodle boy slithers right down to the floor. Of course! Of, f’ing course he does! For two hours he is either walking back and forth the length of our table or hes in the booth playing with trains. He respects boundaries. You can walk from here, to here, I show him. He obeys. I only got up two times to bring him back in a two hour span. So, is this a big deal? I don’t know. He stays with us but he’s down, walking back and forth tripping up waiters. But what do I do? How do I get him to sit still when his just wants to move and explore and be himself which I absolutely encourage and foster, the rest of the time.
How do you teach a kid his age that you have to sit when you are out? He sits fine at home, it’s less exciting. But take him where there are new lights and ceiling fans and a floor mat he can march on and OMG I MUST MARCH RIGHT NOW!!
How? Let him scream and ruin the whole night ? It’s not like we are at home and he’s pissed off the dog with his rocket. This is other peoples night out, they’re paying good money for a meal that I don’t really want to ruin. Is it his age, will he get it in time? Is it me, I’ve given him too much space? I took him outside and a few times and talked to him about eating at the table like a big boy. I put him back into the highchair but it never lasted more than a few minutes before he wanted back down. We aren’t going to stop eating out because of this. I’d still rather play the walk back and forth game than cook seven days a week. But I’d like him to sit at the table with us every time, not every 3rd trip out. Help.
edit: We went out tonight and he was perfect! He never asked to get down and sat in the high chair the entire meal. Happy but UGH- could you have done this best behavior bit last night? You know, when people were watching?