Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"You Need to Walk the Kid"

It isn't uncommon for Eric to compare parenting these first 17 months so far to training a dog.  Granted, neither of us have actually trained a dog, I think he's right.  I mean, think about it.  We teach them tricks, obedience, and to pee in the appropriate place.  Good behavior is rewarded with praise and sometimes treats.  They are playful, so darn cute, and have the energy of twenty or more adults. There have even been a few times when I have caught myself patting my leg when asking Everett to "come" which usually follow with a palm to the forehead "geez! What am I doing?". 

So I can't say I was surprised when Eric's solution to my most recent parenting dilemma was "I think you need to walk the kid."  You see, as a walker of 2 months or so, he is very interested in walking.  Not all that interested in riding in the stroller.  NOT interested in listening to directions like "take my hand", "come here", "walk with me", etc.  Not a recipe for safety in my book.  So Eric's idea was to practice walking together and following directions with walks to the mailbox a few blocks away.

So reluctantly, I did.  With the stroller, because I wasn't willing to carry him several blocks if he was unwilling to follow direction.  Much like a puppy, he is interested in all the rocks and twigs along the way.  We had some good parts with stretches of walking straight ahead appropriately as well as some rough spots that involved an obsession with a hole in the sidewalk and then crying and obstinance at not wanting to come to me, hold my hand when crossing the street, etc.  I must say having the stroller was brilliant as it was a consequence to not following direction.  I guess I'll keep persevering in this frustrating task with my eye on the prize.  Though puppies aren't great at taking walks, they learn quickly!

If any of you more experienced mamas have any advice on teaching skills like following direction and listening, I'm all ears!  If it's just a matter of getting a little older, please tell me!  :)

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