My grandson is turning 4 years old tomorrow. It’s wonderful to see how much he has grown and developed in such a short time. He can count to 20, say his ABCs, climb up and sail down a slide. At about 6 months he started playing with our iPods and now when he gets his hands on one (or one of our cell phones) he changes the settings, moves apps around on the screen, and on occasion, tries to download new–NOT (necessarily) FREE–apps. Thankfully, passwords are required to make purchases!
He has his quirks, like not liking loud noises or not wanting to get his hands messy. His idea of eating an apple is having one of us hold it, while he twists and turns our hand so he can get to the bite the wants. He used to like showers and hated baths; now he likes baths and hates showers. Over time he has moved from “Yo Gabba Gabba” to “Phineas and Ferb” (you can often hear him say “Curse you, Perry the Platypus!”).
And like every other little kid, he can be so sweet you want to scoop him up and snuggle him forever, or alternately he can be moody and out of sorts and manipulative (mothers, you know what I’m talking about). Or he can be having one of those days when he is just testing his boundaries. Like yesterday.
His mother and I took him to a party store to let him pick out plates and napkins for the cupcakes he will be taking to preschool to celebrate his birthday. He got out of his car seat, held both of our hands went into the store, picked out “Angry Birds”, then very politely held our hands on the way back to the car. Basically the same thing at the next store where we didn’t find cupcakes. At the 3rd store, he decided he didn’t want to hold hands and started to bolt. Luckily both my daughter and I got a hand on him at the same time. We gave him a talking to, asked him to take at least one hand, both took a hand when he didn’t and walked across the parking lot with him crying between us.
When we got ready to leave the store, he took off before we were even at the outside doors, both of us yelling his name sternly, and me hot on his heels! I just about got to him when he hit the road, where I checked and saw no cars coming, and my grandson, laughing of course, continued to cross. When we caught up to him he got another lecture and more crying ensued.
It is human nature for my little man to try to spread his wings but it’s hard to let him have some freedom and still ensure his safety. I’ve already been through this once, so it’s not as startling to me, but my daughter struggles (as do most first time moms) with where to draw boundaries. This one was pretty clear, but others won’t be. How do you deal (or have you dealt) with this?
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