Joining Kmama and Emmy with a Proud Mommy Moment. My 3-year old son is so fiery and fun!
Today he is very upset that I won't let him have a 2nd Popsicle. Hoping to distract him from his big tantrum (which I just ignore, but hate listening too), I sit down and start reading one of his books. He continues to scream and cry but comes closer and it almost works! He starts to get interested in the book but then quickly remembers that he is ANGRY about the LACK of a Popsicle. He looks around for some way to communicate just how upset he is. He sees the 2 baskets of books next to the reading chair, picks them up and dramatically dumps out all the books, screaming "I DON'T LIKE BOOKS!" I ignore him and continue reading; he continues to scream and cry. After a few minutes, he begins to lose steam so I calmly inform him that he needs to put his books away. He starts throwing them really hard into the baskets, as if he wants to hurt each book. I tell him he must be more gentle with his books; he wails "I AM TOO TIRED TO PUT BOOKS AWAY!" I say OK but he will need to take a nap instead, since he is so tired. More screaming ensues, complete with stamping feet and dramatically throwing himself down on the floor and crying because he hit his head on the hamper basket. "YOU HURT ME!", he yells.
I see this isn't working so I change tactics and tell him I am going to my room and I will come out once he has put all the books away. More screaming and crying, followed by sudden quiet. I can almost hear the brain cells clicking away. I hear a scraping, sliding noise. He is pushing his books, one by one, under my door. Although this is quite a bit more work for him than simply putting them in the baskets, as a battle-of-wills tactic, it is quite brilliant! I must confess I am highly impressed with his creative thinking abilities. With the books in my room, he can't put them away, now can he? AND I will be forced to engage with him in order to forge ahead in this battle (or "teaching moment", if you prefer a kinder, gentler phrase). His craftiness is not yet complete. He very sweetly tells me he has a present for me. "Do you like your book present, Mama?" This is his way of trying to make up without having to give in. I remind him that he is supposed to put the books in the baskets. I slide the books back under the door into the hallway. More quiet. He runs down the hall to play with his trains but can only hold out a minute or two. At last, I hear him putting his books away. I come out of my room with a big smile and ask him if he put all his books away. He happily says "Yes, come and see." I do see! I tell him he did a good job and then I clap for him. He claps too and smiles with pride. We hug and then go play with trains.