Riley has a mind of his own! He is very strong willed and once he makes up his mind to do something, he will stick to it. Like when he started creche in May last year. He cried like nobody’s business – similarly to how Ethan was when he started, but after a few days, I could see that they weren’t real tears you know, and when I asked him about the crying and told him that there was no need to cry – he knew what school was about now and nobody was going to hurt him, mummy would always come and fetch him at the end of the day – his response was something like no, I’m going to cry, I have to cry! The more I explained that he didn’t, the more he was adamant that he must. This went on for a few weeks and then eventually he got over the crying as most kids do.
Fast forward to the beginning of this year. We sent him back to school the day before Ethan started big school, wanting to give him our full attention for his first day, full well knowing that going to school on his own would probably be really daunting for him, not to mention changing teachers and not having big brother around at all, not even getting picked up together. As we predicted, he cried on his first day back…not just any cry, but he cried as though it was his first time at school EVER!! Day 1 was horrible 😦 My heart broke for him but at the same time, we’d gone through this before – the crying at school that is – and we knew that as the old saying goes “this too shall pass” and so on we soldiered to day 2. On day 2, he cried just as much then, and when I fetched him from school that day, I asked him how it was and told him that there was no need to cry to which he said BUT I MUST. Day 3 was less dramatic but there still tears. When I fetched him from school that day though, he said I’m not going to cry anymore after today and that was it – not a single tear more. It was like he’d decided and he was done. He decided of his own accord and he stuck with his decision.
I love that about him. That he can make up his mind and stick to his guns even at the tender age of three but as you can imagine, it can get quite frustrating and I often have to fight with him (read: give him a smack on his backside and send him to his room) for him to do things my way. Some examples:
Me: We’re going to bath first tonight and then eat supper afterwards because supper is not ready yet…
Riley: No, I don’t want to bath first, I want to eat first….
and of course, this is coupled with tears and sulking. Thank God no massive tantrums!!
Riley: What’s for dinner tonight?
Me: xyz (this is honestly as random as xyz most of the time, sometimes something that he’s never in his life heard of before!)
Riley: I don’t eat xyz, I don’t like it.
Me: But you’ve never eaten xyz, you have no idea what it even tastes like.
Riley: I know what it is and I don’t want to eat it.
Me: Well, you have no other choice. If you don’t eat it, you will go to bed to bed hungry.
Riley: Okay, then I’ll go to bed hungry. Good night everybody…
and he proceeds to walk to his room, open the covers and gets into bed. [Of course this doesn’t work for me and every time, after a few minutes, I call him back and insist on him eating].
Mind of his own, decisive or full of sh*t?!?! Determined or threenager?!?!
Ethan is my water baby, not so much Riley, but over the December period, Riley started to love the pool so much more. This was mostly due to the fact that nana and grandpa bought him a pair of armbands allowing my independent child to swim all on his own 🙂
After seeing how well he was doing with the floats and even that he was now happy to remove the floats and jump into the water fully submerged, face and all, we decided that now would be a good time to start swimming lessons! After all, we didn’t want a repeat episode of this one. And so I looked around and found a swim class close to home for him to start lessons on Saturdays. I was so chuffed that he would now be starting lessons and soon, he’d be able to swim on his own. I honestly think that he’s more than ready!
Well, according to him – he doesn’t want to learn to swim. As soon as I mentioned he’d be starting lessons soon, he cried about it – yes, he cried, without even giving it a try first. I brushed it off and was convinced that he’d get over it. We didn’t mention the lessons again until the Saturday morning OF the actual lesson. The minute I told him that he would be going to swimming lessons that day, he burst into tears saying that he didn’t want to go. Again, I brushed it off, changed the subject and continued with the morning not wanting to give in to my three year old! Half an hour before the lesson, I called the kids in to get ready to leave. When I said we were going to swimming, Riley burst into tears. He then proceeded to cry the.entire.way to the swimming school. When he jumped out of the car at the venue, the tears had fortunately subsided and I thought it would be okay once he’d jumped into the pool. Seeing the other kids in the pool got him excited but as soon as he realised that he’d have to get in, it was tears again. Long story short, the teacher eventually managed to get him in 20minutes later in all his kicking and screaming glory, and he managed to keep it together for the last 10minutes of the class. We even saw a smile, but as soon as he got out, it was tears again because I don’t want to do swimming lessons.
The following weekend, the swimming school cancelled the lesson and Mr was happy as a pig in mud. The one after that, he was sick so I didn’t take him. By this stage, we hadn’t been invoiced or anything and I didn’t particular love the school from the one time we’d gone there – having taken Ethan to a few different swim schools, I think I know what I am looking for and this school isn’t it! So this past Saturday, we tried another place. Getting into the car was okay and even driving to the lesson was fine. Riley was convinced that I’d changed swim schools ‘cos he didn’t like the other one – whatever works!! 😉 We walked into the gym and he was absolutely fine but as soon as he saw the water, he broke down crying like he was being murdered. I forged on trying to just brush it aside but this poor child literally cried the entire lesson. We did see one smile and a wave at a stage, but thereafter, it was full blown crying and I was so glad when the lesson was finally over!!!
So I’ve been thinking about Ethan and his swimming lessons since then. He started lessons from the age of 9months and every weekend, he’d get into the water with either dad or mum. He absolutely loved the water and to this day, he still does, my water baby!! Anyway, I digress…when I was around half way through my second pregnancy, his teacher suggested that he move to the bigger class which would mean that he would now get in the pool without us i.e. with a small group of kids and the teacher. I could sit and watch, but I wasn’t supposed to swim with him! It was horrible. He cried blue murder for about 3 lessons and I eventually threw in the towel and cancelled swimming lessons altogether – this was also due to the fact that I was highly pregnant by this stage and couldn’t be bothered with all the drama at that stage!! Anyway, when we took him back to lessons a few months later, there were no issues and he learnt to swim in literally 3 or 4 lessons.
So I’m wondering, should I do the same with Riley now?!
Is the crying him being stubborn or is continuing lessons ME being stubborn?!
What do you think???