I don't really discipline my son. We explain consequences, and he does get the occasional time out if he hits, but it is really more of a break from the situation that is frustrating him. Truth be told, I have a really great kid. He tests his boundaries and tries my patience, but I really don't discipline him. Today I did.
Bear loves trains. Bear loves to crash his trains. I don't mind that he does this. They are his to do what he likes with. If they break, I will try to fix them. If I can't fix them, well, that's what happens when toy trains are crashed over and over and over.
I was running late this morning, as I often am. I was scooting my boy out the door when he decided to grab a train and some train tracks to take to daycare. He has been doing this on the regular lately so I just said, "Okay, grab Porter and then we will get into Mommy's car." As soon as we were out the door, my little guy plopped onto the sidewalk to play with his train and track in the yard. Okay. Whatever. I will get the thousands of bags that I frequently haul around with me into the car and come back for the boy and his toys.
As I was wrangling him up, he lobbed his favorite train, Porter, into the lantana bush. These bushes are thriving this summer, and I think the heat has warped them into another desert dwelling plant with thistles and thorns. I rescued Porter, teeny irritating scratches as my payment, and strapped the boy into the car.
We got to daycare, the sippy cup I had packed leaked all over my seat and the diaper bag. I was quite frustrated - and it was already a piping 98 degrees outside. This is not helping the already hectic morning. Bear was unstrapped and ran up the steps to daycare. That was easier than normal I thought to myself. My little guy must have sensed this because then he thought it would be fun to throw Porter into another, less friendly bush that sits right against the daycare house. That's it. Porter was lost. Forever. That was the end of my rope for the morning.
I bent to be on his level, eye to eye, holding firmly onto Bear's arm and said, "That is NO! We DO NOT throw our trains into bushes. Porter is gone. We can't get him back."
Then the lip came out. And the tears. I held onto his arm and directed him toward the door. He lost it. By the time we walked in the door, my anger subsided and was immediately replaced with guilt. Guilt that I had lost my cool with him. I should have bent down and explained it to him, but instead I was stern - meanwhile, he just lost his favorite train for good, because he is still learning about cause and effect. Me being mad didn't and won't help his sadness.
He did fine for the remainder of the day. They played trains all day at daycare - which is generally not the case. But the second we walked outside, he walked over to the bush looking for Porter. I searched the area I could reach, but to no avail. Porter really is gone. Bear will forget eventually. But it was a good lesson for me. He is learning and so am I.