Today marked the end of our busy fall retreat season at camp - we closed it out with a wonderful Hobby Weekend - we had lots of scrapbookers, card-stampers, photographers, knitters, and a cross-stitcher. A lot of my MOPS friends were here for the retreat, so my great Hubby watched our little guy both evenings after dinner so that I could sit with them and make cards (and work on tot school projects!). I had a great, relaxing time, and the girl talk was a LOT of fun.
And now...four weeks and six days until our little girl joins us, and no more retreats during that time! Of course, Hubby will still have to work, but it will be normal work-week hours, and lots of family nights and weekends together! I have been so looking forward to this time together! We are celebrating by laying around and eating leftovers tonight. :)
Okay, moms, I need some advice. Zachary is going through a stage. I know, he's a toddler, right? He's supposed to go through stages. I know. But. This is an indecision stage, almost a power trip type thing, and I don't know what to do. Here's the situation: I say, "Z, do you want to wear your Elmo shoes or your Crocs today?" He says: "Crocs". Okay. I grab the Crocs. He says, "No, no, Elmo shoes." I look at him, and ask, "Elmo shoes? Are you sure?" and grab the Elmo shoes...as I'm putting them on him he begins to whine for his Crocs. And I say, "well, too bad, you chose your Elmo shoes. Let's go." Sometimes a tantrum ensues, and we both leave grouchy.
The worst is at bedtime and naptime - he has always liked to hug & cuddle before going down, and last week, we moved him into a toddler bed (which is going famously well, by the way, he's only woken up in the night twice since he's been in his big boy bed & he's napping great). Anyway, now that he's in there, he sometimes climbs right in without his hug, and so I remind him by asking, "Do you want a hug before night-night?" and he says yes, but then when I reach for him, he lays down and says, "Sleep in bed. Sleep in bed." and refuses to come to me for a hug - if I pick him up for his hug against his will, he resists me & struggles. So I tell him, "Mommy is leaving, and if I go out and close the door, you will not get a hug." Halfway out his door, he says to me, "Hug! Need a hug!" and I hate to deny him. So I go back in, and he does the laying down/refusing to hug thing again. So I leave. And he cries for a hug for 5 to 10 minutes, breaks my heart. At naptime, he did go down without a hug, but at bedtime, I went back in after about 5 minutes, because how can I deny my little guy a simple hug at bedtime? :(
So, here's my question: Is my toddler on a power trip, to see if he can control me? And should I deny him the right to change his mind even once...or deny him the hug after one chance and let him cry?
I am not the kind of parent who has to 'win' every battle, I think the relational part of parenting is so important, I don't want to withhold a loving security thing like a hug from my little man just so I can feel that I 'won' and he didn't. I guess what I'm asking is, "Is it really important for me to 'win' this battle? Or is it even a battle, or something else going on?" Seasoned moms, help me out here, please! I look forward to hearing your comments, oh wise readers! :)