Off Track


Wyatt stood in our hallway, feet in his socks firmly planted on the floor. “No. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay here!”

Yesterday, I brought Rory and Wyatt home for about an hour before picking Lily and Sam up from school. I’d meant for us to stay out–but they were so awful, so whiny and obnoxious to me and to one another, that we ran one errand, abandoned the plan for coffee and treats (with a rousing declaration of “no way, I wouldn’t take you two out in public for all the cash in Texas”) and headed for home, where things improved to the point that Rory and Wyatt were able to play their version of chess (Wyatt knows the rules, Rory doesn’t, and doesn’t like to be told, usually ends badly) and eat some popcorn and even throw in a little knee hockey. Until it was time to go.


Wyatt, as you will have gathered, did not want to go pick up Sam, Lily and Lily’s friend. Wyatt was peeved. HE wanted a playdate. (That was part of the earlier issue.) And now he was home. He did not want to go out again (really, who would?). Part of the problem with living where we do (WAY out of town) and still, yanno, participating fully in life is the amount of driving involved– again, part of the reason why we were going to stay out–is the driving. The in and out of the car. All day long. We try to keep it to a minimum (the school is actually the closest public building to out house) but there it is. And Wyatt did NOT want to go.

What does one do, here?

I know–I could threaten him into the car, so easy. But I’m trying to wean myself off threats. I am trying to give them more control. More choices. I’ve been all about Parenting on Track, as you know. And I’m pretty sure that’s not in the PoT manual.

I counted to three and he got in the car. But what about next time?

5 Responses to “Off Track”

  1. I tuck my son under my arm and carry him like a piece of luggage… but he’s still small enough to do that (just barely). And there’s only one of him.

  2. JK says:

    Nat and Kira have done that. I’ve just very calmly gotten the others in the car and said goodbye to the one who wants to stay. Next, I back out of the garage, shut the garage door, and pretended to leave. Then, after a couple of minutes I go back. Suddenly, the resistant girl is ready to come. I don’t know if that would work for Wyatt, but it works great with Nat and Kira. Tia hasn’t tried it yet…If she gives me any trouble I say goodbye to her and she RACES to the car. I realize that in a couple of more years, this won’t work any more, but by then, Nat will be old enough to stay home for an hour or so by herself… Have you left Sam home by himself, yet? Nat is begging to be “unsupervised.” (I was unsupervised at 8 for a couple of hours afterschool each day and I babysat my nephew… remember the time we almost forgot him at your pool? Heh!)

  3. ellen says:

    i’m sure this is a parenting no-no but when desperate i resort to the tried-and-true candy bribe. fortunately my daughter hasn’t needed it often enough to become a bad habit or a demand on her part but it does work…probably especially in our case as we almost never eat candy aside from chocolate. a lollipop will get her motivated to do anything.

  4. KJ (aka Lola Granola) says:

    We do leave Sam! He’s been fine. I’ll even leave him with another child, although not with all of them, unless I am back in the woods, as opposed to out in the car. I was left alone at 6 after school for a couple of hours, if I checked in with a neighbor. It seems fine to me! I do remember leaving Brett…and yeah, i’ve done that, but I had a sense it wasn’t going to work that time, and I didn’t want that. Plus, if you go back, the ones in the car won’t be fooled next time, right?

  5. Sarah says:

    I would give lots of warning beforehand (we have to go in 15 mins, we have to go in 10 mins etc). Then, if one of mine would refuse to go, I would acknowledge that it’s not much fun to leave her toys etc to go in the car, but we really need to go. Maybe tell her that I’d rather stay too (and read my book etc). I would tell her how proud I was that she was getting ready to go and do something she didn’t want to do.

    I would suggest reading this book (Hold On To Your Kids):