...parenting, that is.
Monday night we had a big blow up with Mr. Cameron. In the last year he's shot up about a foot or so in height, he's inches from being as tall as his short mother. When I have to drag him anywhere (which isn't very often) it looks ridiculous. Anyway, he refused to come home with me from Grandma's house. I gave him multiple chances, and finally I'd had enough fighting, so I drove home....leaving him screaming on my mom's front yard. I couldn't very well drag him into the car...he's getting too big, and WAY too old for that. I was reamed the whole way home by a certain-almost-4-year-old, and I told that same boy that you do NOT treat your mommy badly, or something like THIS would happen.
I got home and called Steve to pick Cameron up, and told him what happened. He was NOT happy...at all.
Earlier in the evening my mom had mentioned that if Cameron wasn't good, then he couldn't go out to dinner with us the next night for my youngest brother's birthday, so I figured that was as good of a punishment as any other, and grounded Cameron from the birthday dinner.
I was scared.
I've never left my kids at home alone for ANY reason. I thought about hiring a babysitter, but remembered that it was mutual night (when youth between 12-18 participate in fun activities at our church). I couldn't pull anyone away from that. So I decided that it was time he stayed home alone, after all, why should I be punished for his tantrum?
I prepped the boy all afternoon. He could watch TV, if he got scared he could even go to my bedroom....
Then came the time to leave. I left a sticky note on the computer monitor with Steve's cell phone number, told him to only call in case of an emergency, and then I left.
The sad face chased me out of the house. I wanted to run to him, tell him how sorry I was for being so tough with him, and hug his little body, but I couldn't. I'd said something, and I NEEDED to stick with it. If not for HIS sake then for mine.
I had to practice singing a song with some ladies, so I went to dinner late. When I got to the restaurant, Steve informed me that Cam had called 10 times. So much for emergencies....
Dinner was a rushed event for me. I didn't want to make the boy more miserable than necessary, just enough to teach him a lesson that he can't act that way and plan on getting away with it. We could have gone to visit my mom afterward, but I was done making the boy wait. We went home and he was waiting AT the window for us.
He promised me that he will not act that way again. I told him that I hoped so, and we were done. I'm sure this is one lesson that he will remember for a VERY long time. Now he'll know that I mean what I say...even if it's the hardest thing in the world for ME!