And I guess now I can say I win at sharks.
Usually our dinners out are not relaxing (unless Jake is asleep) but I think I've found the key.
Now, for some of you with kids who sit quietly and never try to run away from mommy (this was totally Katie. Quiet kid, good listener. NOT a runner... I could take her ANYwhere and 99.9% of the time, when we returned home I didn't have to change clothes because I was sweaty from chasing after her or holding onto her while dodging a flailing fist or because my pants were dirty from shoe scuffs because I had to carry her, kicking, back to our table) this might seem... harsh.
And if you do want to judge, don't tell me.
Oh! Better yet, email me. We'll go to dinner together. And I'll pretend that Jake is your kid when he takes off for the kitchen or the table across the dining room.
So we're out to dinner last week with grandma and grandpa and Jake decides he doesn't want to sit. I had to hold him as he wriggled and kicked... he was a menace. To my legs and stomach.
So I told him that there were sharks on the floor and if he got down from his seat, the sharks would chew off his legs.
Aaaand now that I'm reading this, it does sound just a little scary. (But I still gave Katie the "don't you dare" look when she started to tell Jake that Mommy was just kidding.)
Jake didn't get down off that seat the rest of the time we were there. I was
I should have known that he would start to talk... loudly... at some point once his plans for a little jog were foiled. (An inside voice is also something we work on.)
Sooo, I might have told him that he was being noisy and that other people want to eat and talk and he was being a little too disruptive... and that if he didn't quiet things down, there were bumblebees that would come and sting him. And then he would puff up and fall on the floor and the sharks would get him.
Not my finest moment as mommy. But it worked.
And now I'm wondering if this will work in other situations.
Like... learning to hold hands while crossing the street, or staying in the driveway when we're playing outside.
And if he ends up afraid of sharks, well, all the better! I mean, they could chew off a limb so a little healthy fear is a good thing, I think. It's a lot more respectable than a fear of dolls and clowns. (Not that I have those fears. I'm just saying...)
I would welcome a little advice because I think a) Katie will spill the beans about sharks and how they need water to survive or b) Jake will will learn it on his own from some kids show and we're back to square one...
What do you do to keep your little runner by your side and well behaved at restaurants and on walks?