children, mommyhood, terrible threes

Options

My friend who reads my blog regularly (thank you, thank you) came over for lunch. She is raising boys as well and while hers are much older, she has much wisdom to dispel on the subject. Of course I am all ears. I implemented some of her suggestions with varying degrees of success. The first one was to simply tell Full Speed my expectation and to do so only once. If he complied then he would be rewarded, if not then no reward.

When we arrived at school I told him that I wanted him to say ‘good morning, ma’am’ to the school’s receptionist. Oftentimes he is running about talking silly and he doesn’t address her properly. I told him this once and he didn’t do it. I didn’t make a big deal but later that day I told him that meant he didn’t earn a privilege he had wanted. The next day it clicked for him and every day since. He stops in front of the reception area and greets her with respect. So, there’s my progress.

My friend’s other suggestion concerning my constant power struggle to get little T.Puzzle’s shoes on before we head out the door, was to put his shoes on while he is watching his morning cartoon. That way he is distracted and the shoes are on when I shut down the tv and it is time for us to leave.

I put the show on, grabbed the shoes and with great care and stealth tried to slip on his shoes. In the instant he saw me and the shoes he gets up screaming from the couch and runs away to hide.

My friend never once suggested that I be the one to run away and hide, but I’m telling you, on the days that start with tantrums, ‘I nots!’, and general defiance, it doesn’t seem like a half-bad option.

I’ll keep listening, learning and trying different things. Eventually something will click or we will have to move to a place where it is culturally acceptable be barefoot.

children, gratitude, mommyhood

The T.Puzzle Connection

We may be turning a corner here. There certainly are no guarantees when raising a family but I’m sensing a slight shift in little T.Puzzle. He actually made the connection that bad behavior equals the loss of privileges. When I picked him up from school the first thing he said to me was, “Do I get to watch a show and have a treat?” I told him that he could but only if he was a good listener and was respectful. He seemed satisfied with that and went on to be mostly well-behaved for the rest of the evening.

I remember when Full Speed was in the heart of the terrible threes and he would have moments and phases of clarity just like Little T.Puzzle is showing. It would bolster me up for the next inevitable slide back to tantrum-filled defiance. I guess that’s what I need to do now. Soak up Little T.Puzzle’s slice of sanity and put the memory of it in my reserve tank of parenting energy.

You all know I’m gonna need it.