A few of you may have heard that there was this thing in Detroit last week. It was a chance to learn a lot, drink a lot and laugh even more. I’m not sure how long it’s going to take for me to process all the information that I tried stuffing into my little pea brain between trips to the bar. I have notes and a list. Having done a few of these conferences, Tracy (the Tracy of Tracy and Mouse) told us not to run home and change everything which is almost the only thing holding me back. The other thing holding me back is that I barely have the energy to breath. One of the most awful things I learned at the conference is that I’m not 21 anymore. I still don’t get hungover if I drink all night (haha! take that reisling, I win!) but I do get very, very tired…and it takes a loooong time to bounce back. How long? I’ll let you know as soon as I bounce back.
There was another awful thing I learned at the conference. I’m an idiot. OK, no, I didn’t really learn that at the conference I’ve known that for a while but I’m an even bigger idiot than I thought. You see, before I came to the conference I printed off a conference agenda and marked off all the sessions I wanted to attend. The last session was the Sunday morning Q&A session with the behavior experts and I knew I had to go because Monkey has this behavior that has been driving me out of my gourd for the last few months. I totally needed expert help to figure this out.
Initially the trouble was that, every night when I got home, Monkey would whine and tell me to change into my pajamas. The way he said pajamas was cute and I like wearing my pajamas. A lot. So, I changed into my pajamas and the whining stopped. Win all around! I’m so talented, I trained my child to whine. Once the whining got annoying I decided it was time to nip this right in the bud, thank you very much! So, I would tell him very firmly that I was not going to change and I didn’t. Until he started crying. Then I did. AWESOME, now I’ve taught him to cry! Where is my mother of the year award?? In the mail, I’m sure…just wait until you hear what I did next! I became very concerned because clearly I could not have him crying every night I came home! So, I told him that I would not change! No, no, no, no…awwww, sheet…he puked. I taught him to cry until he PUKES.
So, blah, blah…operant learning…blah blah…negative reinforcement…blah blah…vicious cycle. I’m working under the assumption right now that the antecedent is my arrival home and the stress/anxiety I’ve built up through the day. I relax when I finally put my pajamas on and then Monkey also relaxes. It all seems so reasonable, doesn’t it? Now I just need to figure out how to drop the stress and anxiety somewhere between my desk and my doorstep, oh, and simultaneously untrain my amazing puking Monkey…who’s now daily greeting just might be ratcheting up my anxiety a notch or two.
It’s feeling a bit like a Catch-22 at the moment so tonight I did what any sane, rational parent would do in this situation. I snuck in the back door, ran to my room and changed before he even realized I was home. How about them parenting skillz!