If only the trip home could have been as nice as our stay out there. Roan put us through our paces. I have never heard her cry and scream so inexplicably and for such long stretches. Naturally, the 3 hour flight was packed and she didn't sleep a wink. We were all exhausted by the time we got home, but the up side was that that experience was over!
If Roan could speak more eloquently, she might have pointed out that she is cutting molars on both sides of her mouth, and at the time of the flight was suffering a terrible diaper rash. Maybe that had something to do with it.
She is also continuing to exhibit more toddler-like, authority-challenging behavior. We've been on a reading binge lately trying to get our strategies caught up to her behavior. The last book I read, "Redirecting Children's Behavior" worked great for a while, and I think we may be able to return to it at some point in the future. But for the moment we've turned to "Love and Logic" which is all about giving kids choices and consequences, delivering discipline without breaking a sweat.
That last part is key, they say. As soon as you get mad, your kid realizes the inherent fun in pushing your buttons and then you're lost. As Arwen's mom once wisely said, "The key to kids is, you gotta trick 'em!" Now we finally know what she meant. Once Roan becomes more verbal, the options abound. Until then it's pretty basic. Try and have as much fun with her while she's not misbehaving, and when she is put her in her crib until she calms down and becomes sweet again. There's no screaming and yelling, just the simple idea that it's more fun to behave well and have good times with Mom and Dad.
I like this philosphy because I find myself prioritizing having fun with Roan, and when she misbehaves I don't view it as an exasperating affront to my authority. I just whisk her off to her crib for a little "bedroom time" to readjust herself. I also feel good about having a framework within which to deliver fair and compassionate discipline, and provider her with the limits we all need to get along in the world.
In the couple of weeks since we've been home, we've been busy. We picked up a new toy. It's a small trailer, not much more than a queen sized bed on wheels, called a Little Guy. This is not our actual unit, but here's a sample of what they look like. We haven't taken it out yet, but we hope to soon!
In our next episode, photos of the enormous landscaping project we've taken on in the backyard...