The Supers

The Supers
Our growing superfamily

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bad Cop

I have this friend, D, whom I completely respect and admire. We were at D's house over the weekend for a little bit of sadness and a little bit of fun. The sadness was because we were on the mainland for my Grandfather's funeral, and the fun was because we hit Splashdown Park Waterslides directly after. How was I to know that planning to take your kids to the waterslides directly after a funeral is considered irreverant and bad form? I suppose when asked to join the family at the wake after that I could have refrained from telling everyone that we were going to the waterslides instead, but that just wouldn't be me.

So anyways, back to D. She's just this totally awesome, sunshiney gal with a constant smile and positive nature. And she rocks at Mommying. The thing that struck me was that her boy sassed her just the tiniest bit and she said, "No. Uh-uh. We don't talk to each other like that. Go to your room please." And without arguing or continuing the sass, he walked. Straight to his room. Like, she didn't even have to yell at him or start counting or turn colours or anything. He had a little time-out, came back and apologized, then life continued on as normal. Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy.

When we see parenting we respect and admire it does one of two things. It either makes us try to emulate it, or it makes our shortcomings glaring. And my shortcomings were glaring at me today. No, wait, it was just my sass-a-frass son. Glaring, giving me the "karate arms" threat, telling me no when the expected answer was clearly yes, and just being generally unpleasant. There was one incident after another, one time-out after another, one too many rude comments directed in my direction. The final straw was when Superdaddy and I sat him down to talk to him and after explicitly explaining that if the rude behaviour continued that he would be staying home instead of going to our friends' house for a bonfire he tried to subtlely smack his fist into his palm like he was continuing to threaten us and then raised his middle finger in his cupped hand, which he recently learned was NAUGHTY. YOU DELIBERATELY DISOBEYED ME, SIMBA. I kept him home. Everyone else left. I missed the bonfire and the food and the friends and the bikeride I was going to have on the way because I was not taking that naughty little boy out for some fun tonight.

And then a funny thing happened.

After about half an hour of hysterical crying and threatening and then crying some more, he rested in my arms. I talked to him again about how his rudeness was hurting my feelings. I offered him some dinner and he was polite about it and ate it. He cleared his plate and mine without being asked. We read some books together on the couch and he snuggled in close. We went up to the library, me running and him on his bike, and returned our overdue books. All evening I could see him doing things to emulate me. If I stooped to pet Max, he did the same directly after. If I went for a glass of water, he was suddenly thirsty.

I don't think my first-born is ever lacking from attention, but I do think tonight was good for us. I think it was good that he is reminded that if we make a threat we will follow through. More importantly I think he realized that even though his behaviour can be naughty he's still a pretty good guy and it turns out that Mom really likes to be around him. He missed out on some stuff tonight. I didn't let him watch a movie, there were no yummy snacks, and he went to bed early. Not enough to make his life miserable but enough for him to recognize business. Because I did mean business. But I love that guy. Even when I miss out on roasted marshmallows.

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