I’m running (jogging/ schlepping) a 5k on April 1. There, I said it. After weeks of cajoling from my “who needs to train for a 5K anyway” husband, I finally agreed to do it, but only if he pushed the kiddo’s running stroller (thereby handicapping him to my level of patheticness) and I didn’t have to run with him prior to that (thereby keeping us married).
I went to a fancy schmancy running store to get fitted for shoes (and inserts and socks) and then came home and discovered that the manufacturer had the shoes at a deep discount because they were last season’s. Cue the drama.
I was willing to pay a premium for the service, but more than 100% more? Um, that’s crazy. I want to be loyal but not if I have to be stupid to do it. In the end, I explained the situation to the lady at the running store, got a refund when they said they don’t “do sales” and left with my tail between my legs. Bummer for them, I’m now too embarrassed and awkward to ever go back there to pay their markup on gear.
Lesson: don’t make your customers have to choose between loyalty and intelligence. Put another way: I shouldn’t have to feel screwed to be your customer.
Whew, had to get that off my chest. So, two UPS deliveries from now, I will be out of excuses to start C25K. I can honestly say I’d never hoped for a delayed delivery before now.
All of this got me thinking about pain and learning and frustration and growth and parenting. I have a really hard time watching my son struggle or be frustrated, something I suspect most moms feel. I want to help him by fixing it so I constantly remind myself that I help him by letting him learn to fix it himself. I still don’t do this well, though.
Here’s an example: while reading a book on child development by month during the first year, the writer noted that babies would learn to move between sitting and crawling because of the frustration that comes with toppling over.
I haven’t let my son topple over. Again borrowing from puppy training principles, I figured it best to keep him within the boundaries of success rather than set him up to fail, so he first sat by himself in the bouncer (with me nearby, obviously), then my lap, then the couch, then between my legs, then on the floor. He’s now steady enough to sit up without toppling over as long as he doesn’t try too hard to lunge for something interesting.
But much like the discomfort that will come from running serves me well, the frustration that comes from toppling over will be good for him. It also reminds me that we need to reorganize our home so that he can safely have more freedom. Because of the dogs (and our general lack of tidiness) we don’t set him down on the floor very often, but we need to find a way to make this his house too.
I have to throw in another shout-out to day care. I’m an “it takes a village” kind of person, if only because the pressure to be my son’s one and only anything is more than I prefer, and our decision to use a day care is SUCH a big part of that. My son can “fly” along the ground (in his own mind, but hey) and sort of roll over and bounce like a crazy man because he gets a chance to practice that at day care.
Go, day care! Thanks for doing the things that are good for my kid that I’m too wimpy or new to do myself! I’m catching on now!
They’re the wind beneath my wings.