Saturday, November 13, 2010

Run, Bully, Date, A Fan!

Yesterday, I registered for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon taking place on May 7, 2011. I'm excited and nervous to have made this commitment. I also registered for their training races- a 5K in Feb (3.1 miles), 10K in Mar (6.2 miles), and a 15K in Apr (9.3 miles). The mini is a half marathon (13.1 miles). Christy registered as well. Now we have to each decide how we want to train.

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Yesterday was a "hold my breath" day. It was Day Three of the Crackdown Plan for Teagan at school.

Wednesday- Teagan had no TV, no playroom, no stuffed animals, ate dinner in her room with Daddy watching her, no books, no comforter on her bed. She had the opportunity to earn back her favorite stuffed animal by bedtime if she made good choices with the rest of the grounding. And she did fabulous and earned her pig. She also earned a blanket (a ratty old blue blanket and not her nice comforter). She handled it all so well that Jeff and I were concerned she hadn't really learned anything.

Thursday- Bad report again. Not as bad as other days but still a bad report. This time, Jeff and I picked the kids up in separate cars. I told Teagan what she had done and then told her what the consequence was- what she would find when she got home. When I got to the parts where the consequences were harder than Weds, she wasn't happy. No opportunity to earn back the stuffed animal, no Daddy sitting with you while you eat. Then came the kicker. See, Wednesday, we all missed dinner at church and were at home. Thursday night is Music Team practice at church. Teagan used to love going with me but hasn't gone in months (not for a reason, it just hasn't worked out). So the big pain point Thursday was when I told her I was taking Zach out to dinner and then taking him with me to Music Team. That pain was apparently enough for her to realize how serious we were. She cried herself to sleep- with no blanket- by 6:30.

Friday morning, I explained that she had to have a great report because the choices she made during the day would determine how our entire weekend went. I told her that Christy was coming over to babysit Friday night- and would come after Teagan was asleep if we got a bad report. Teagan would have no fun over the weekend- Mommy and Daddy would take turns taking Zach to do fun things and she would have to sit at home with no TV and no playroom.

A sweet moment- we talked about ways that she was special and I expected to hear "I'm smart" or something since she hears that a lot. Instead, she said "God loves me." We then listed off all the people who love her- and it was a long list. On our drive to school, the subject of praying happened to come up and I told Teagan that when I'm having a hard time with something, I stop and take a minute to pray and talk to God about it and I usually feel better. She decided that if she felt inside like she wanted to be mean to someone, she could pray about it. Her teacher (yay for private school) encouraged her in this and even pointed out some places in the room that were quiet where Teagan could go if she wanted to. I don't think Teagan actually used this - but I think God was answering our prayers anyway... Because she had a PERFECT DAY. I mean truly perfect. Her teacher had implemented another positive plan (plans Weds and Thurs didn't work) and Teagan rocked it. She went to the far other side of the behavior spectrum. I called to check in mid-morning and got to talk to her and praise her. Same thing mid-afternoon. And we all went out for ice cream right after school to celebrate! I know this isn't the end of our situation- but at least we got the turn around and know she can control herself and make good choices!!

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Jeff and I had a date night last night and it was a well deserved night out. We went to dinner and did a little shopping. I got a new running belt with hydration system (it holds water bottles). I got some new clothes at Christopher & Banks (they had a rack of stuff marked at a $30 price point but everything was actually $7!!) and got some clothes for Christy, too. Jeff got a new book that he didn't know was in paperback already. We held hands and laughed and just relaxed and enjoyed each other's company. It was a lovely evening. And much needed. And celebratory because we both really felt like we had come together in a fantastic and strong way with the challenges this week. I couldn't have done it without him (and he couldn't have done it without me).

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When I was taking Christy home last night, we stopped at our favorite local wine bar (Chateau Thomas Winery) for a wine tasting to cap off the night. We know most of the employees there and they know our taste quite well and we hardly even have to select our wines to taste- they know our tastes and will choose for us. So we are chatting with a couple of the employees there and one of them asks, "Did you both do the Monumental 5K last weekend?" Yes, we did. Turns out, she gets the newsletter that FitCity sends out every week and she had read my blog post about the race. She had recognized us from our pictures when she saw the blog post- she knew we were Chateau Thomas regulars. I joked that she was my first official "fan." And she agreed!

*****

I hope you enjoy your Saturday. Thanks to Teagan's great choices on Friday, I know we will have a lot of fun!!

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9 comments:

mimbles said...

I'm so pleased to hear things are looking up with Teagan, I hope the rest of your weekend is as great as the start of it has been!

Bits of my Saturday were good, other parts not so much.

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

Yay for parole... I mean good behavior. :-)

C. Beth said...

What a great weekend!

I'm so glad that Teagan is doing better and once again am touched and impressed at your parenting.

You'll have to let me know how you like the hydration belt! I hope it works great for you.

I love the training with multiple races to get you up to the right mileage. That is totally cool. Half marathon training will be challenging but so rewarding too!

Call Me Cate said...

Ooh, an unforeseen benefit of the separate play room, huh? So much easier to close off toys that way if bad decisions are made. I'm glad you seem to be getting through to her by following through. Great work!

The half-marathon is my husband's favorite distance but even though he's completed quite a few, he still takes offense when they call it a "mini" marathon. Nothing "mini" about running 13.1 miles! It's a great accomplishment and you seem to be on really smart path to reach that goal.

Mellodee said...

I have to tell you I find some of Teagan's punishments disturbing. Eating alone? No blanket? And she is 5? The adage that the punishment should fit the crime is a good one to follow with kids, and I see no way to connect these with her actions. You are leaving yourself with limited options for discipline in the future. Children at 5 don't have a very good grasp of responsibility, nor do they have particularly good memories. I agree that the banishment of toys, stuffed animals, TV (can't remember if that was really on the list), loss of other privileges are disciplinary actions that are appropriate for kids this age, but denying some of the more basic things could lead almost any child to think that they are "such a bad person that even Mommy and Daddy don't love me anymore". I am sure this is not your intent. If her comforter is her "lovey/blanky/touchstone" and she is not allowed to have it, that just seems to me to be going too far.

I tell you this only because somewhere underneath that hard little exterior she is showing by her behavior lies the same kind of kid that most people have....one who needs reassurance of love, and a guarantee of safety.

I just ask you to consider what I've said.

You are such a good mom, but I fear this might be a mistake.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Did you read the post earlier this week?

And if I shared the details of the things Teagan did to other kids at school... you'd be pretty horrified. I certainly was.

Here's the thing about Teagan- she knows she is loved. Everyone who knows her knows she is loved. I have come up with 50 billion reasons as to why she made the choices she did. But the bottom line was that I knew she wasn't acting out because of something being done to her. You'll just have to trust me on that one. And this is the ONLY time that we have ever taken a hardcore, no tolerance, tough as nails stance on a behavior problem. And given the type of cruelty she was doling out to her classmates- for several days in a row and multiple times each day- we knew we had to do something big. She was already putting herself in a position of being ostracized by her classmates.

I appreciate your concern. But I have to tell you that given the emotional roller coaster I have personally been on for this past week, I don't appreciate the tone of your words. Jeff and I both put a lot of energy and effort into this- and we worked with her teacher and the head of the school. Had we somehow been out of line, one of the many people in my personal "village" would have spoken up.

Karen Peterson said...

I think it's great that you and Jeff went out on a date after the week you had. It's important to do those things and reward yourselves for being awesome parents.

Jason, as himself said...

I'm glad things seem to have started working with Teagan. Hopefully she is learning her lesson now so the future will be not so tough.

Mellodee said...

Liz,

I am saddened that you felt my comment was hurtful. I am a lot older than you and I have raised my own daughter and been a part of raising kids among my friends and family. I've seen a lot. I wanted to share my concerns about your choices because I have learned in my life that parents, even those with the best of intentions, can sometimes make a mistake. And sometimes don't see the mistake. I've done it; most parents have done it at one point or another.

I certainly didn't intend to insult or offend you. When we put our lives out here in our blogs, we have opened ourselves up to others' opinions. Not all people who read a blog will agree with everything that is said. In general, we often ask people to leave comments, that can result in hearing things we don't want to hear.

I have been reading Teagan's history all along and I agree that her bullying of others is unacceptable. If she were older I would agree with your actions 100%. But she is only 5, and I personally don't believe that a 5 year old will learn the lessons you want her to learn without possibly experiencing some residual effects you neither expect nor want.

Please note that I was expressing my own opinion based on my lifetime experiences. One thing I have learned is that children's psyches are frequently much more fragile that we think. I just hoped to put that out there for your consideration, in case you hadn't thought of it quite that way. That's all....

How you choose to raise your kids is totally up to you.

I apologize.