Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Citizen's Arrest

Aiden has been pushing the limits - a lot - lately, wondering how far he can go. What happens when Mommy gets to 3 (1.....2.....3....)? Will I really get a time out? They won't actually take my fish away if I don't go to sleep right?

Likewise, we have really been sticking to our discipline guns. Every "hit" no matter how playful - gets and apology and a kiss. Every time we get to 3, Aiden re-reads the house rules:

then he sits in time out and thinks about how he can better uphold the rules. This morning he even started getting some privileges taken away for saying "no" to Mommy and Randalicious. The idea is, if you think, "No I don't have to do this, I don't have to cooperate," then Mommy is not at all required to spoil you anymore.

As any parent knows, discipline is the least fun no fun at all! It is exhausting, you feel like the bad guy, and listening to your kids cry in time out makes you a bit of a whiner yourself.

Well, last night I was on the edge. Aiden had been in and out of time out throughout dinner. I took away his milkshake, I told him we would not be playing play-doh, I tried everything. He always met my threats with "I'm sorry, I love you," and a big hug (he sure knows where the chinks in my armor are). Let me please inform you, under any circumstance, when a little boy tells his mommy "I love you" without being prompted - no matter how manipulative he is actually being - you can not stay mad.

But by the end of the night I was sick of going around and around and around, so when I got him somewhat settled down for bed, I retreated to folding laundry - a personal calming technique of mine. Things were settling, I was starting to relax and finally feeling a little less edgy - when the cat knocked an entire bowl of fruity pebbles onto the floor - a bowl of fruity pebbles which I told Aiden to put in the sink about 15 minutes prior.

I nearly came unglued - "Why me?" I thought, I wanted to scream! I tried my "anger inhibitor" and I took 10 deep breaths...then Aiden came over to where I was standing and said "Mommy, clean up yo mess?"

My mess? My mess! This kid is driving me crazy...before I could speak he said, "Mommy go time out."

I was totally stunned. And grateful. Mommy did in fact need a time out.

So I went to the time out spot, I read the house rules, and I calmed down.

After a minute, Aiden said, "Done whining?" (That's what we ask him when he is in time out) and I said, "Yep."

"Done time out Mommy?"

"Yes Aiden, thank you."

Aiden made a citizen's arrest and it worked. Even Mommy's need time outs sometimes.

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