One of my biggest fears going into this winter was that we'd be stuck indoors for several months with a tornado of destruction masquerading as a two year old. So far, that hasn't been the case. We've been able to get Garrison enough time outdoors that he's been able to keep a relatively level head.
Today, for instance, we took him hiking on an Ice Age Trail segment south of Madison that is relatively flat and easy to navigate. Garrison was a real trooper and while he isn't the fastest walker on uneven surfaces, he doesn't lack for enthusiasm. He walked for quite a while before finally getting tired and asking to ride in his backpack carrier.
The segment we walked runs along a creek that isn't frozen yet. After we told Garrison that we might see ducks, he spent the rest of the walk yammering in his two year-old way about ducks. When we did see some ducks he was thrilled and that redoubled his chatter about ducks. It was a bit like walking with a slightly incoherent waterfowl enthusiast.
The walking did tire him out, however. Once we got back into the car and the heater warmed things up he passed right out until we got home.
Over the past month, we've gotten in the habit of having 5-10 M&Ms, each, after dinner. Tonight, Sarah cooked chicken parm for dinner. Garrison at two pieces of pasta, one piece of broccoli, one bite of chicken, and called it a meal. No amount of cajoling or encouragement could get him to eat any more. Finally, we gave up. When we were finished, Sarah and I broke out the M&Ms and had a few. Garrison immediately wanted his. We told him repeatedly that people who don't eat dinner don't get dessert. Eventually, we came around to the position that if he ate his pasta he could have dessert. This clearly wasn't the bargain he wanted, but he really desired those bits of candy so he grudgingly ate his pasta. Once he was done and he got his M&Ms, he was thrilled that we kept our part of the bargain. Both Sarah and I were left wondering how much this sort of stubbornness/ultimatum/bargaining around food is going to be part of our future.