Friday, 2 January 2009

Parenting By Osmosis

After last year’s experience, and because we are in a new place, both figuratively and physically, our holiday period has included as much calmness as possible.

I have not ignored excitement, or tried to quell it at every opportunity, but I have attempted to incorporate as much of ‘nothing’ between the madness as I could.

With a birthday only three days before the annual over-excitement, present-giving and turkey-scoffing, the end to the calendar year can be a little much.

It can be a lot for anyone.

Last time around, when the boy turned trois, I was cramming as much in as possible.

He had an action packed birthday, and we kept up the pace, immediately after.

There was a lot of visiting over this period, and as a by-product it meant Max was opening presents every single day, rather than just on his birthday and Christ’s.

He properly burnt out with over-excitement.

So much so, that upon Christmas Day afternoon, when I finally had taken a breath and had time to enjoy his company, he was ill and spent it asleep, recovering.

When he was insistent on a party to celebrate his birth’s fourth anniversary, I feared much of the same.

But although there was inevitable exuberance at his ‘do’, it was channelled into this one momentous event.

And bar three presents, unwrapping was limited to the 22nd and the 25th.

During the non-event days, I have kept it down to exactly that.

Max has had so many new presents to play with, he is more than happy to have just explored with each one.

We have taken in a cousin’s birthday, and Max has been out with both sets of grandparents, for a walk in the woods and a visit to Warwick Castle.

There was also New Year’s Eve to encompass.

Which I spent with some of my closest friends, and their children, at mine. We also had some other visitors from the village, but their stays were brief, as was the chaos.

But I think I have got a little too settled into a casually planned state, and, as a result, forgot to put sleep pants onto my little treasure’s derrière on the last night of 2008

No big deal, I have been thinking of getting him through the night again, when the sheets needed changing I thought would be a good next time to try.

Anyway, very early in 2009, about one hour in, I heard my little boy making for my bedroom.

He had been woken up as he thought his personal toilet was in situ, which of course, it was not.

It actually worked out quite well, as it meant he got in with me, and I could close the door to the noise of my friends waking quite early, as one of them had to get off to work.

So we both had a little more sleep, that if he had been in his own bed.

By his actions, and his argument, Max convinced me that he is fully capable of going through the night, and even getting up to go, yet is lazy enough to not bother if an absorbent material is strapped to his nether regions.

He proved it for real last night, and I hope he continues to do so.

Fantastic stuff.

And should save us from spending anymore pennies than necessary. Share/Save/Bookmark

7 comments:

Tricia Moran said...

You are so wise to keep the chaos and present opening restricted. My daughter's birthday is the 27th and every year it's been a struggle to try and keep the excitement to a minimum. We had some early years where she got overwhelmed by it all and so did we. I am a single Mom now and this year, we did what you did and tried to pace parties, presents and visitors. It was by far the most successful season we've had in ten years! She's a super-sensitive easily stimulated child, so I'm glad there's other people out there that recognise the same things. You're an awesome Dad to be so tuned in! :)
Tricia and Clan (N. Virginia, USA)

drleah@singlemommyhood.com said...

Sounds like you gave a lot of thought and attention to making the holidays (and birthday) just what your little guy needed. A stressed out/over-stimulated kid can definitely suck the joy out of any holiday celebration.

It is amazing what kids can do when motivated or what they chose to do when simply not interested.

All the best in the New Year.

Laura said...

It was the first year we had a quiet one and it was good for us all!!!

Well done Mr Max - hope it continues

Tismee2 said...

My youngest has been on overdrive for weeks now since his birthday in November.

He now pretends to be asleep and then gets up and starts drawing or some other quiet activity once he knows we are downstairs and out of earshot. The other night it was 10.30 before we finaly got him to sleep.

Could I send him to you for a couple of weeks to be 'detoxed'?

Jo Beaufoix said...

I really get this too. Miss M will be 4 on Jan 25th and we're going for a few calm moments and getting her to enjoy her Christmas toys before the next onslaught.

Charlie's singing and dancing is fabulous by the way. I love the way they just have to move their bodies at this age. We were in All Saints today and Miss M jumped up on the window display and began to shake her thang.

Penelope said...

Never mind the kids having a quiet Christmas - I could have done with some of that myself! At least New Year was peaceful and it wasn't me throwing the tantrums ;o)
I know my 2 get stressed over the holidays because they have 2 sets of families who want to spend time with them and Lil Miss P does hate being shunted around (who can blame her). Unfortunately, with divorced parents, their really isn't an alternative.
We are also now lurching straight into birthday mode with Master P turning 15 (!!!!) in a week.
(Sorry for the extra long waffly comment!)

Single Parent Dad said...

Tricia Moran - Thanks for your comment. And I'm glad we share a successful philosophy.

Drleah - Thanks. I did dwell on it a little.

Laura - Glad you had a great time.

Tismee - Not sure that calmness would be the order of play if there was at least two, maybe three, excitables running ragged here!

Jo Beaufoix - It works, I think. And do you mean Max? I'm confused?

Penelope - I sympathise. Having to sets of families to satisfy must be very difficult.

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