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December 15, 2009 / Dan

Lessons

Raising a kid has got to be one of the most difficult things on the planet. It’s all about balance, knowing when to push, when to give, when to discipline, when to let it slide.

With Rabun now 18 months old, we’re starting to see some of her personality emerge, and by personality what I really mean is that she’s starting to demonstrate that she has a will of her own and doesn’t always just want to do what we ask her.

As a result, Jessica and I have to decide what battles we want to fight. Well, recently I decided to fight a very interesting battle.

Ribbons and Curls

For those of you who don’t know, Rabun has a bear named Fred. Fred goes basically everywhere Rabun goes. Fred is a magic bear that can make everything in Rabunland all good again when something goes amiss.

The day after Thanksgiving, it was my responsibility to get Rabun and Fred home from my parent’s place on Lake Jackson, where we had celebrated the holiday with family. I had gone hunting that morning while Jessica had done the doorbuster thing with her mom. My mom watched Rabun for us.

On the way home, less than a mile from the lake house, Rabun tossed Fred on the other side of her car seat, where I couldn’t get to him. Immediately I hear “uh-oh” and then she started to whine. Eventually that whine turned into full blown crying. I stopped the car, since we hadn’t gotten on the highway yet, and gave Fred to her, and told her she had to hold onto him. That I couldn’t stop again (which I really couldn’t because most of the trip is interstate).

Well after about another 5 miles, I hear Fred fall again, and “uh-oh” again. And the whining started. And that progressed to full blown crying. Which went to sobbing, and hyperventilating, and snubbing. And eventually after about 20 minutes of that, she calmed down. About every 15 minutes she’d cry for a couple of minutes, and then rest, and then repeat.

That was my effort at teaching Rabun a lesson. She eventually had to learn that she just couldn’t throw Fred down and expect him to automagically come back to her. And I guess I learned a lesson too, that teaching lessons can be painful for the instructor as well. It was very difficult to watch Rabun cry and sob and cough and to not be able to sleep. It hurt my heart, but ultimately I think it was the best thing for her.

And Rabun did eventually go to sleep… about 2 miles from our destination.

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2 Comments

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  1. Jennifer M. / Dec 17 2009 1:56 pm

    Oh yeah…so much “fun”. I think the major battles of that sort I’ve had are about food. I remember distinctly sitting with Nathan and making him eat a banana one day. We had been teetering on the edge of that battle for a while. By the end of it, I was crying along with him. It was hard, but it’s worth it to teach the lessons early!

    • Dan / Dec 17 2009 3:19 pm

      but it’s worth it to teach the lessons early!

      I couldn’t (and didn’t) put it better myself.

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