That's why when I have a child-related problem, the first source I go to is my mom. Kids are tricky little people... one minute, you've got them all figured out. They are only too glad to hold your hand and teeter next to you through stores, malls, parking lots and amusement parks. But then that funny thing happens where suddenly the world is a little wider for them and they want to do absolutely everything on their own. And that includes walking around without the hand-holding.
|"I can carry it."|
Because I knew we were going to be doing some heavy Saturday shopping today, I decided that this was as good a time as any to try this little trick out.
Lately he's refused to hold my hand in several places, and more often than not he feels the need to walk three feet ahead of me in a parking lot. Not a mother's best situation when she's got her hands full.
So today when I was packing up our stuff to leave the house, I made the diaper bag a little heavier than usual. I put in some juice packs for weight, (a water bottle or two will work just as well) and headed out the door with my two kids in tow.
|"No really, I can carry it myself!"|
"Ohhh," I exaggerated, "This bag is sooo heavy. Will you carry it for me?" He puffed up with self-importance. There are few things my son loves more than showing how strong and helpful he is.
"I can do it!" he said. He snatched the bag up. I watched with a secret smile on my face as he struggled to carry the bag, unable to take off running because of the weight. He walked slowly beside me. And then the important part happened, just like I'd seen it happen with my mom and us kids before.
Suddenly he paused beside me with the bag still in hand, "Mommy, you take it. It's just heavy."
|"Okay, maybe you can help me, mom."|
When we left the store, I flumped the bag on the ground again, pushing the cart with one hand and holding the diaper bag strap with the other, "I need help!" I told him. Once again he came to my rescue and "helped" me carry the bag out to the car.
He did this in and out of four more parking lots, the mall, and the checkout lane at the grocery store. Not once did he complain about being made to stand next to me, not once did he complain about having to help. I made him my little hero, praised him for doing such a good job, and let him feel important when other ladies told him what a good boy he was being to help his mommy. He felt independent and I felt relieved.
Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope it takes a long while before he hits the too-cool-to-help-out age!