Maybe he can trade his education fund for therapy.

We do a lot of counting in our house. Having a 3 year old around means giving them plenty of time to change their ironclad minds to be a little more open to what the parents are after: getting into the car, eating breakfast, washing their hair in the bath (I hear this one doesn't get any easier even into their late teens?)... so we count. Usually to five, but sometimes for immediate (un)results, it's only to three. And then, of course, there are the trade-offs or, more realistically put, the sacrifices.

Books are big around here, so taking books away for the rest of the morning/day/decade is the go-to threat. I say often, but really, that's about the last thing we want to take away from our children. The one time Older Son was "punished" with taking his books away, he nearly broke our hearts when he asked us to read and, upon explaining to him that he made the choice which resulted in him losing his book privileges, and that he could just read by himself if he wanted, he broke down and told us that he "didn't know the words."

[cue heartbreak, for reals y'all]

Yeah, so anyway... we don't do that one very often. Usually music in the car is the main threat, and we can all deal with that without much gnashing of teeth and tantrumming of, y'know, whatever.

Last week, however, I strayed from the count-and-remove-privileges routine. Sometimes you can turn little tasks into games. Events, even. Sort of like how when I could get neither kid out of the bath, I asked which one wanted to BE FIRST TO GET OUT! Wow! Imagine that! To be the first out of the bath! I tellya, they nearly concussed themselves leaping out of that tub.

And so Older Son and I were attempting to get him into his pajamas, but he was engrossed in an especially riveting story about Mickey and Pluto (and the somewhat ironic way in which the latter got its name; feel free to ask me about it sometime.) and was having no part of the nightly getting ready for bed routine. Not ready to count in any of the official counting languages of the house (English, French, and Dora), I tried an alternate tactic: gaming!

I told him: You can read a page, then you can take off a sock. Read another page, take off the other sock. Next page, pants. Then shirt, underwear, and then with subsequent pages read (skimmed -- He's not reading words yet.)

Do you see where this is going yet?

Someday, if my son is "luckier" than his fathers, my son will be sitting around a table in the early morning hours, playing a "card game" with some friends, and he'll either don a confused face and subsequently break down in tears from the memory of that day his father tried a new strategy, or he'll be the only one at an otherwise naked table wearing his jammies.

To that future young adult Older Son, I say I'm sorry. But dammit, it's working. So someday, future adult, you'll understand.

Posted bythemikestand at 7:54 PM  

5 stepped up to the mike:

Candy said... 11:09 AM, October 25, 2007  

Wow, that broke my cold, unfeeling heart. Nice job! I hope you read to him after that confession.

Books is not a threat here unless it's Facebook.

Steph said... 11:51 AM, October 25, 2007  

Oh.

My.

God.

Let's just hope he doesn't start doing this at day care.

canadian sadie said... 9:41 PM, October 25, 2007  

Totally aside: but in the spirit of NoBroMo (or whatever it is)...i bring you:

http://mustachesofthenineteenthcentury.blogspot.com/

Booya.

Megan said... 12:48 AM, October 26, 2007  

Haha. Kinda like the game "Silence" in the car on long trips when whoever stays quiet the longest gets a shiny new quarter!

Karen said... 12:08 AM, October 28, 2007  

I happened across your blog and had fun reading it. And I always say you need to have 3 funds set up for each kid: college fund, wedding fund, therapy fund. lol

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