Saturday started out great. I had gotten 2 loads of laundry of done Friday, so sneaking in an additional load early Saturday set us up perfectly for grabbing a bagel before heading out to the Tball fields for clean up day.
As we were wrapping up our breakfast, J did something he has not done since his race across the Orlando airport.
He took off running away from me.
Our bagel place is right off of route 30, and I freaked out. This was one of those adrenaline fueled, loss of breath moments. Luckily I was right behind him, so he did not even make it to the next store before I had my hand on his shirt.
Naturally, we promptly walked back to the bagel shop, and had a little conversation regarding this. I'm not sure who was shocked more, but I kept my voice very calm, almost wicked calm, as I explained to J how scared I was & how sad I was he ran away like that. I explained he could have been hit by a car or someone could have snatched him up & Mommy & Daddy would never see him again. I gave him the biggest hug. Told him how much I loved him.
He got the biggest tears in his eyes. "Sorry Mommy"
Then I asked, "How long of a time out J felt this deserved?"
He quickly answered "15 minutes".
And I sighed a huge relief. I had gotten through to him. He realized this was a severe action and deserved the highest level of punishment known to him.
We then left and headed over to the field for clean up day, because I felt a little manual labor would be good for him.
Considering it was low 50's, cold and windy, and in J's worst nightmare - dirty. Let's just say he did more pouting than helping.
Which was okay, when it was just us. I knew he was sulking over getting in trouble. I knew as long as he was sulking, he was thinking about what he did wrong. It also gave us the opportunity for him to prove he could be trusted to not run off in the controlled environment of the fenced field.
It wasn't perfect, but it was needed.
As time went on, a father & his son joined us. Then a set of grandparents with their grandson joined us in our bullpen for weed pulling and raking. Watching the other kids have fun got J over his initial resistance and participating. Especially when the dad grabbed a shovel & offered to show J how to use it, if he'd like. His smile was huge. This guy had no idea what our morning had been like and how much I needed a positive redirection for J without my giving cart blanche to letting what happened go.
J was so happy that I wanted to snap a picture of him.
Of course that would be the minute he hit a weed root he needed help pushing the shovel through & was more annoyed mommy wanted the picture than stopping the presses to help him.
It did capture the morning mood perfectly though.
After clean up, we came home & did a load of laundry & started another one, then ran to the dry cleaners & grabbed lunch.
Then we proceeded to nap for 3 hours. Whoops!
J spent Saturday night in his glory celebrating his 4th birthday one last time - this time with Paternal Grandparents & Aunt Liz.
Afterwards, Mr. M had a long chat with J before bed. When they were done J came in & started to repeat what Matt had told him to say. J remembered only the first sentence and then started laughing & said "I don't remember the rest" so of course, he was sent to his room.
I gave him a few minutes to think about it, and then went to join him. He started to cry and said "Why won't Daddy help me?"
Me: "J stop. Stop & think. If you were sad and scared about something someone did to you, what would you like them to say to you. You said it earlier."
J: "I'm so sorry, Mommy"
Me: "Exactly. That's all you have to remember - how sorry you are right now for making Mommy so scared today."
Then with a great big hug & smile, we did our story & bedtime.
Sunday on our way to church, J was watching Lion King 2 & Simba gave Kiera a lecture similar to mine & he said "Mommy, I'm really sorry for scaring you yesterday."
I'm hoping this is one lesson learned.