It's been quite a week (two weeks, really) here at the Knapp house. Because of Mark's company's ongoing acquisition (is that the right word?) he has been working extremely long hours, waking up at 4:30am every morning to go to work and often not returning home until 7:00 or 8:00pm. In the past week, I think I've only seen him a few hours collectively. To be honest, it's been very hard on me having him gone so much lately when he's been working from home our entire marriage.
It wouldn't be so bad if everything else were equal, but as luck would have it, it's been raining almost every day for the past two weeks. Rain = no play outside = restless kids = bad behavior. Tommy's behavior has been uncharacteristically, and downright, rotten in the past ten days. He went from being compliant and obedient 80% of the time to about 10% of the time. The other 90% of the time he was obstinate and incorrigible.
As with most changes and transitions of behavior in my kids, it caught me completely off guard and took me a full week before I realized that Tommy's behavior was not a case of the infamous "Terrible Threes" and something that I needed to figure out or update my parenting tactics, but that he was simply in need of exercise. And then I remembered other times in the past two years when Tommy didn't get his quota of exercise and had a similar pattern of behavior. (You'd think I'd remember this by now!)
Luckily, but the time this realization hit me on Wednesday, the rain had subsided and I spent as much time outside with the boys as I possibly could. We went to the playground by the library after Bible study and stayed as long as they could stand the misty cold. I all but stood there with a stopwatch and whistle making them run laps around the place. Later that afternoon was so much more peaceful and I had about 50% of my well-behaved boy back.
Then Thursday morning was spent running around Aunt Cameron's backyard, followed by a bike ride back to our house. The Behave-O-Meter rose a bit more. Then on Friday morning we went on a 1-mile walk (for me) and bike ride (for Tommy), then some errands, and then spent two hours in our backyard digging in the dirt for worms, playing "parade" and running races. Then after naps, we went to the playground for some more running, jumping, and climbing.
By Friday evening, the Behave-O-Meter was back up to 80% and I had my sweet boy back. Now I'm looking forward to a few more days of clear weather outside and peaceful behavior inside before we're hit with another ten days of rain.
There would be photos accompanying this post, if I hadn't left the camera outside overnight and discovered it dew-covered this morning. Oh, it's been a long week.