Saturday, May 30, 2009

Time Out!

We're not opposed to spanking. Both my husband and I were spanked as kids, and we turned out fine. Balanced. With lasting, loving relationships with our parents.

That said, we're not ready to spank Daniel. As long as alternate forms of disciple work, we'll stay away from anything physical. (Punishing violence with violence still doesn't add up in my head).

Time outs are our weapon of choice, and we've been using them on a regular basis - so far, with success. Daniel hates to be ignored, and a few minutes alone in his designated time out spot is enough to reduce him to tears, apologies, hugs, and a change in behavior.

The other day, we noticed how well he's been paying attention. Daniel looked his beloved Rhino ("Zona") square in the eye and said "Bad Choice! Time Out! Two Minutes!" and handed her to me to receive her punishment. I obliged and put Zona on the floor, gravely saying, "You're in time out for two minutes, Zona. You made a bad choice."

Zona was a trooper, and after just a few seconds had passed, Daniel reached for her and asked if she was "ready to be all done?" He made her nod "yes" and gave her a big hug.

Ten seconds later, he hit his arm with her head and said "Bad Choice! Time Out! Two Minutes!"

He is quite the over-zealous disciplinarian.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Adventures in Tents

Well, I have good news and bad news. First, the good news.

The Good

Our first camping trip was a blast! Daniel had a great time and the first day was honestly one of the best days of my life. So relaxing. So peaceful... quiet... tuned out from the rest of the world.

We set up camp in Sedona, just off the highway and a stone's throw from the river. Daniel immediately jumped in, "helping" us set up camp - and covering himself in dirt within ten minutes of getting out of the car. His excitement was uncontainable as he ran laps around the campsite, exploring all the nature he could get his little hands on.

He settled on his favorite activity: throwing rocks into the river. In fact, by the end of our trip, we were completely tired of throwing rocks in the river. "More rocks... more rocks."

We made a fire, cooking dinner and a late night S'mores snack, of which Daniel was a HUGE fan. Especially the chocolate part.

We bundled up like crazy for the night, chattering through what was not the most peaceful sleep we've ever had. Daniel, however, slept like a log, happy and warm between us. (Note: Next time... bring more blankets).

He awoke happy, nearly giddy to find the two of us next to him. We found a little pancake place in town for breakfast, and headed back to camp to hike.

Then things took a turn for the worse.

The Bad

We had taken a break from throwing rocks in the river and were eating a snack at the picnic table. Daniel was running around in circles and starting scratching his neck - like something was irritating him. A bug or a piece of grass, maybe.

Within two minutes, it went from light irritation to full on screaming, with his hand glued to his neck.

He couldn't get any words out except "hurt" in between the deafening cries. We sped to the fire station down the road, and two kind (but fairly useless) EMTs looked at him. By now, Daniel's hand was on his ear, and the screaming was worse. They directed us to the Urgent Care across town.

What ensued was, without a doubt, the longest 15 minutes of my life.

Daniel cries escalated, but dropped off suddenly every 30 seconds or so, as he appeared to fall asleep. He also appeared to stop breathing, and would jerk back to attention with a huge gasp. His eyes glazed over, and he began drooling severely. He also was holding his neck at a very odd angle, with his hand moving between his ear and neck.

Fernando sped through town, and I knelt next to the car seat, praying like I never had. In retrospect it sounds dramatic, but I have never actually feared that Daniel would die. During those 15 minutes, it felt like he was drifting away. I was there - my hands were on him - and I had absolutely no control.

The Sedona Urgent Care was a joke. The doctor reeked of New Age strangeness, and misdiagnosed Daniel with a "severe throat and nose infection". I asked why it came on so suddenly, and he said (I'm not kidding): "Everything begins at some point in time." Life is a cookie, indeed.

By now, large amounts of kid-friendly pain killers had relaxed him enough to fall asleep. Daniel was passed out in my lap, still grabbing his neck, and crying in his sleep if his head moved even a fraction of an inch.

Long story short... it was a crick. (Cric?) A very bad crick in his neck, caused from a cold and a night sleeping in sub-zero temperatures. I get them all the time - I suppose the tendency is genetic. Poor kid walked around with his head cocked to one side for nearly a week, milking us for sympathy days after the pain had stopped.

Next time, we'll wait until Summer to camp.