Friday, April 23, 2010

He looks so innocent

We were the first to arrive at the beach for our outdoor play date, despite having taken an hour preparing peanut butter and jam sandwiches, packing fruit and cookies, and washing off the sand toys that have been sitting in our sand box (aka mud and leaf box) all winter.  Most of my favourite Mommy friends came and the kids barely glanced at the playground equipment they were so excited to play in the sand.

Before anyone else arrived I had to remind William not to throw sand.  There have been times, while at the park near my house, that I've gone home for this after only one warning. But this park is a 15 minute drive, instead of a 5 minute walk, and my friends were coming.

In the next little while, it became clear to me that William was simply in a sand throwing mood.  Part of me understands.  The sand at the beach is so soft, so perfect, so throwable.  When he threw sand directly in his friend Aedan's face, I had a fun lecture-talk with him about what we could and couldn't do with sand.

"Can we throw sand in our friend's face?"
"Can we throw sand in our sister's face?"
"Can we dig a big hole in the sand?" 
"Can we dump sand on our friend's head?"
"Can we use the sifter to play in the sand?"
"But we don't throw sand, right?"
"I will not throw sand!"

Soon after, William threw sand AGAIN.  This time at his friend Annaliese.  He likely did it because he was pretty sure I wasn't watching, and he would be right.  But I had lots of other mommies and children being my eyes and ears.   I took William aside on a bench for a time out.  I showed William the time on my watch and told him what numbers it would change to when three minutes were up.  Then, having no more weapons in my dicipline arsennal, I gave him the ultimate threat :  we would go home if he threw sand again.

My friend was just congratulating me on my calm doling out of discipline, when he threw sand again! The final straw was a fairly innocent exchange between him and his friend Leyla.  I say innocent, because she threw sand too, though I'm pretty sure William started it.    I had no choice, I had made a promise.  I packed up our stuff, and we left. 

He cried all the way home, saying "I want to go to the beach!"  I honestly told him that I wanted to go to the beach too, but we couldn't because he was throwing sand. We were running out of children who had not had sand thrown in their faces and hair by my son.  I only hope he remembers this incident, so he doesn't become a schoolyard bully, or the class loner.

Now, hours later, William just calmly told me "I've very mad that you left the beach."  There's always next time, William.  It's going to be a long summer.


Columbia Thorndale said...

your a amazing mom

Cara said...

An effective lesson but hard to do.

Next weekend, May 1, Natalie is going to have her daughter's birthday party at the beach so we can try again then if you are available...

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