I have decided I don't like the term Mean Mommy. Tough yes. Mean no.
We're on to day 3 of this reformed parenting. My basics - still be fun, but a little firmer. Don't accept the stuff that is bratty, but try to enjoy the stuff that is fun.
Last night we put it to the test - with a night on the town.
Okay, really, I'd had a couple drinks after work, Mike picked up Matt but there was major traffic, so we decided to meet at Yonge & Eglinton for dinner. I promised to order ahead so that it wouldn't be a long wait.
This was the first dinner out, pretty much since Matt was a teeny tiny sleeping infant, that I can say we actually were relaxed at dinner.
Here were the ground rules. We had a booth by the window, so he was allowed to stand on the bench, sit by the window and go under the table. He could colour and could drink chocolate milk. Screaming, running around, jumping on the bench or climbing on the table, as well as this weird hold the table and climb the bench backward trick were all forbidden.
Amazingly, he complied. He sat for dinner, he chatted, we all had fun.
When he started to misbehave there was no waffling. We didn't go with the "no" we so often use, we told him that we did not like it when he jumped on the bench. We told him it was not how you behave.
For the most part he listened. And, it was a long dinner since Pickle Barrel service is SOOOOO slow. (seriously, I hate how slow their service is).
In fact, he was so well behaved and we were so impressed that Mike - yes, Mike not me - suggested that we take him to Indigo to play with the Thomas Table.
So off we went to Indigo for 45 minutes. Mike bought us coffees and Matt played Thomas.
Again with the tough parenting, we made it clear that he needed to share the toys or we would leave. So, the one really funny part was when he started to yell - "sharing sharing" as he took another kid's toy. But, that was funny - and quickly resolved. We actually enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee and chatted while our remarkably well behaved child played. It was fantastic.
The only low part of the evening was leaving. He left the store just fine, but when we didn't let him go on the car and boat rides for more than a minute he completely freaked out.
So, there I was holding a screaming, kicking toddler under my arm as we rode down the escalator. He was screaming "I want the RRRRIIIDDDEEESSS" as I was firmly saying "I don't care - that's not how we behave".
The moment ended when Mike suddenly said "Christmas Tree" and Matt was distracted.
All in all a good evening.
Fingers crossed this is a new trend.