One of the things I’ve paid attention to in my mothering is follow through.
It is generally understood between my children and myself that if I ask them to do something and they don’t do it willingly on their own I will come over there and make it happen.
For example if it is time to leave (the park, a friend’s house, anywhere fun) and they don’t come when I ask them to I will carry them out. If I ask them to take their plates to the sink and somebody won’t do it I put the plate in the unwilling hands of that child and walk them to the counter.
The result of this is that they generally mind me and if by chance they don’t a raised eyebrow is usually enough to bring about obedience. On occasion I do have to count but I don’t remember the last time I made it past one.
Lately I’ve found a major flaw in the system. Namely, I am in severe danger of losing the physical ability to carry a child who is unwilling to walk for his or herself. I’ve been worrying about it for a while now. In fact I’ve changed my phraseology somewhat to account for my dwindling ability to lift my children. Instead of “If you don’ t get your jammies on yourself I guess I’ll have to carry you up stairs and dress you like a baby” (sometimes this one back fires because being dressed like a baby when you’re six is apparently all kinds of funny) I started substituting the “I’ll” in the previous scenario for “Pop will.” That works fine when we’re all at home but if there’s a mutiny while The Mr. is away I’m toast. Or so I thought.
Yesterday it happened. I was at a friends house with an over tired Enzo. I asked him repeatedly to walk with me to the door and he wasn’t having it. So I hefted him up above my belly and carried him, slowly, to the door where he thankfully saw fit to put on his own shoes. Then, I carried him to the car. I’m just lucky he wasn’t so tired and over wrought that he was kicking or wriggling. I never would have made it.
He went (almost) directly to sleep when we got home. It was truly a blessing.
From now until I’ve birthed this child and recovered from the same, it is absolutely necessary that Enzo gets an adequate amount of sleep. I just can’t carry him anymore.