Thursday, May 12, 2011

Playing the Waiting Game... with a toddler in tow!

As most of you read in my earlier post, Aunt Natalie is getting her tonsils removed today. This is just one day shy of a week since her car accident, and the big sister inside keeps worrying about that fact. But her surgeon said she was fine to continue with the planned surgery today.

That was not my only anxiety about Natalie's surgery, I had another. Natalie is afraid of needles, IVs, and surgeries; and all her life she has had her big sister (me) by her side when she has to encounter these things. I have always gotten out of school and sat in the waiting room with my mother until she comes out. She's never really had a surgery and has only had a handful of ER visits, but I've been there for all of them. I was one of the first people she asked for while the EMTs were loading her on the stretcher last Friday. <3 So naturally, she asked me to come with her to her tonsil removal surgery this morning.

I couldn't say no to her, so I said yes. But then began the dilemma of leaving Alan at daycare and losing an hour tonight, having Lon take Alan to work with him (An adventure in its own) or risking everything lol and taking him with me.

I decided the lesser of the three evils was to just take him with me. But I had a tactful game plan already set into system lol:

-Alan always gets "levels" of freedom (for lack of a better name) when he's out in public like this. If he's very well behaved, he can play on the table in front of me. If he won't stay at the table and play, then he is placed in the chair next to me to play. If he continues to misbehave, then he moves to my lap. And the last place, the "refocus" place (like time out, only not so negative) is outside in a foyer area or just out the door. We sit and talk, with no toys, for a minute, and then go back in and try it again. Notice how I don't take his toy away until the last one???

-Now I also am very attentitive to Alan's mood and interest in the toy he's playing with. If he starts to act bored (boredom is the main bad guy when it comes to toddlers lol) with the toy, I swap it out with another, different toy. Or we trying reading his books. Or I pull out his crayons and paper to color. But toddlers have pretty short attention spans and distraction is the best technique to prevent a meltdown.

-The last distraction technique was food and drink. I had several types of drinks for Alan (milk, apple juice, water, and V8 Splash) as well as several types of snacks (granola bar, rice crispy treats, fruit snacks and candy as a last minute thing) to give his to distract at any moment. I had made sure that he had eaten just before we left, to help his demeanor a little as well.

I am proud to say, that in that whole hour and a half that we were there, Alan did not have one meltdown!!! :D He got close a couple times, but I saved him with distraction. I am so proud of both Alan and I! This may have been a minor thing (we just survived in a waiting room lol) but I feel very accomplished as a mother! I kept him well behaved, playing and quiet THE WHOLE TIME WE WERE THERE! Even when we transitioned to the Pre Op room and then back to the waiting room. :) And Alan was even seen as a cute little boy by everyone (surprise there lol), he got a lot of compliments!

Okay, okay, I am done gloating lol. But I am proud. *Beams* Let's just call this a Good Mama Accomplishment. :D See you tomorrow for Five Question Friday.

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