Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And we stifle our laughs...

Ian is at this hilarious age. I feel like everything he says or does is funny. Even if it's wrong, naughty or inappropriate. In these instances we deliver the solemn faced punishment, advise him of our disappointment and then run with our hands over our mouths into the other room to laugh in private.

We went through a two month period where each and every day I picked him up from school, I would wait for the teacher to pull me aside. I'd see a note jotted on the sign in sheet. 'SEE TEACHER', it would say. I'd tip my head back, roll my eyes and like a kid in trouble would sulk to the teacher and ask, 'what this time?'

Usually it was in regards to his 'potty words'. What is it about boys and these 'no-no' words? I DO NOT KNOW. We don't talk like that in our house. At least not in front of the kids and from a young age we worked to instill the words we wanted them to use that were of our liking. But of course, there is JUST so much you can control about a 3 year old. The final straw was when Ian received a stronger course of action at school for swatting another boy on the rear in the restroom. Now to me, this is just part of being a boy? I mean, he's just advanced, right? Isn't that what happens in the boys locker room? On the football field? Regardless, he rec'd weeks of solitary bathroom use and could not enter the boys restroom unless alone.

As I'd buckle him in the car each day and dole out the punishment for the night (usually something taken from him, (the privilege to drive his electric car, his favorite toy, or the after dinner t.v. show) he would pout his lip, cross his arms and one day he exclaimed, 'I hate you'.

I gasped. I retracted from him shaking my head in disappointment. My 3 year old son hated me.

I remember as a kid the word, 'hate' not being allowed in our house. Low and behold, we are fighting the same battles in our 4 and now 6 year old. Alex started it, surely picking up the word from school and when frustrated, mad, or what have you would scream, 'I hate myself!'. This of course was hilarious to us as, I think she really meant to say, 'I hate this' or that or the situation, maybe even 'I hate you'. Regardless, 'I hate myself' would send us sneaking out of the room to hide our grins. It was time for an intervention.

We buckled down alongside the teachers, working together to nip this problem in the bud and I'm happy to say that after a week or two of swift and diligent consequences for his actions he was on the up and up.

One Friday, after 5 whole days without a timeout or 'potty word' at school I buckled Ian in his car seat, I told him how proud I was of him. I said, 'this deserves a reward with a dinner out!' His response, 'Ah Mom. Thanks! I don't hate you anymore!' After dinner, the kids got to choose a 'shot' of dessert of their choice. These are adorable, tiny sized desserts that fit in a double shot glass. Perfect size, perfect price for our perfectly behaved, non potty word saying angel boy.

I watched Ian finish his dessert with pride, and smiled as he put the last bite into his mouth. We did it! We were cocky in our parenting skills as we glanced around at the Mis-behaving kids in our midst. All it takes is consistency and dedication! Ian then dropped the spoon into the empty shot glass and shouted, 'Butt hole!'. And with that, he was whisked from his chair and taken to the car with a full belly of chocolate lava cake and a smile on his face.

He's also smart as a whip. Our bedtime routine usually goes something like this: He'll bat his eyes, snuggle up to me and sing me a little song. He says 'Mom, did you hear that? I sang you a song and I'm giving it to you. Giving it to your heart.'

I thank him, kiss him, snuggled him and can't let go.

Then he says, 'So...Can I have another story?'

Some of you may remember this post. Not much has changed since these early days of getting Ian to sleep in a 'big boy bed'. We have ourselves a night owl with this one and luckily he stays in his room for the most part talking, singing, quietly playing with intermittent shouts that send us cracking up downstairs. Each evening as we head upstairs to bed we each stop into each of the kids room to fix their covers, kiss them goodnight, and most importantly see what predicament Ian fell asleep in.

He is notoriously in a funny position, toys strewn about, bed completely torn apart, and as of late, resting high on a tower of pillows like the 'prince and the pea'. He pulls the backrest from the mini-couch in his room, stacks on that his pillow, on top of that his pillow pet, on top of that HIM like a king on his thrown. All the blankets (and there are many) piled on top of him. With a gentle push, he rolls from his tower and settles nicely on his bed and I have to use all my willpower not to giggle out loud and wake him.

I never know what each day will bring with this child. Whether it's a head injury, a giant kitchen spill, a stern talk with his teacher, or a stifled laugh. I will say (and I'm going to use a forbidden word here), I hate to imagine a day without him. Good behavior or bad behavior if you can laugh through parenthood, and the ups and downs of it I think you're doing alright.

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