Trash can parenting?
Dropping my son off for his first day of preschool was a challenge. Four days of classes later, picking him up is the challenge. He’s so happy at preschool, the thought of going home with me is about as pleasing to him as, oh, spinach and sardine cake. There’s kicking. There’s screaming. There’s biting, flailing, whining, limp-going, screaming, and all manner of behavior I didn’t even know my son knew.
After another showdown yesterday, complete with lots of screaming in the car afterward, I stopped for food. “Where are we going, Mama?” Li’l D asked.
“I’m going to dump you in a trash can,” I mumbled under my breath, or so I thought. I opened the car door, began putting on the shoes he’d thrown in a fit of pique and was marveling at the sudden silence when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Li’l D quietly implored me, “Mama, please don’t put me in the trash bin.”
“Oh, sweetie!” I said, mortified with myself. “I love you. I would never, ever put you in the trash can.”
He climbed out of the car and hugged me tight. “I’m not going in the trash can?”
“No,” I thought, feeling like I might deserve a dive there myself. “We’re getting food.”
“Oh. I love you, mama!” Immediately afterward, he began daydreaming aloud everything we’d eat, leaving me a chance to marvel at how quickly kids move on . . . and reflecting how I, as the adult in our relationship, should probably strive to seek–and communicate!–adult-appropriate solutions in the future.