Thursday, October 27, 2011

Speedy vs The World

Speedy is, well, speedy. He has two speeds - 100 miles per hour and asleep. He was himself before he was born- either asleep, or kicking me.
He hit all his physical milestones early - he was walking at 9 months, and running around at his first birthday party.

Determined? Stubborn? Yes, to the extreme. Smart little bastard? Yep.
He was difficult, to put it politely, as a baby.

I became frustrated at the lack of success I was having with parenting strategies, especially the one that has it that tantrums are attention seeking, and if you ignore the child, they'll lose interest. Ha.

It was getting dark, and Speedy was on the back deck, but wanted to go downstairs and play in the yard. I said no, and he threw himself to the ground in a classic tantrum. Right, I thought, let's play ignoring and see how long it takes for him to lose interest.

Thirty minutes... he spent 30 minutes lying on the deck, kicking and screaming and yelling that he wanted to go downstairs.

He was just 12 months old.

For 'time outs' we'd put him in his cot. By the time he was two, he'd kicked the wooden bars out of the cot.

We moved him into a bed, cleared the room of anything that could be broken or thrown, and would shut the door for time out. Before he was three, we had to re-screw the hinges on the bedroom door. Speedy would just stand at the door and kick it.

Language development was a wonderful thing. Finally, he was able to communicate his feelings, and we began to understand the why's of the behaviours.

It really boiled down to fairness, and not suffering fools. When he was able to explain what he wanted, or why he didn't want to do something, it made sense. He really, really did not tolerate being told 'no' without logical reason.

Road safety lessons worked when they went "I know you are fine, but you just can't trust the drivers of those cars. They don't look carefully enough, and they are stupid and drive too fast, so you have to be the smart one and make sure you look out for them. Also, I'm taller than you, so I'm easier to see, so how about you stay next to me and hold my hand."

Physically, he'd attempt the ridiculous, but had an innate sense of his own limitations. Friends and relatives thought we were crazy not to stop him climbing this that and the other, but we had to trust him. The only time I saw him hesitate and almost fall was when an adult gasped loudly and yelled his name in a frightened tone. He was halfway up a tree, and it broke his concentration.

Then he went to school, where (some of) the adults believed that children should comply without question.

(I found this lurking in my drafts folder. Half finished? Or is Speedy at School a whole 'nother story?)

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