Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pathological Mommy

Dear Ian,

Since the day you were born, you have stretched my natural limits to... well, their limits.  Some of these, like sleep deprivation, weren't always fun, but in other ways, you have helped me grow as a person.  I now have even more patience than I originally thought I had, I can withstand loud whining noises now like a champ, and I have found new ways to show love.  Hershey kisses in your lunch box, for example.

But, nothing like the challenge of parenting could have expanded my creativity to the lengths I will go to now to teach you things. 

One shining, not-so-thrilling moment was the other day when I told a little white lie to get you to learn a lesson.  It was morning, and on any other, typical morning, Daddy helps you get dressed for school while I get dressed myself.  This particular morning, Daddy had a doctor's appointment, so you and I had to go it alone.  We did pretty well, but in order to make sure I was fully dressed and actually matching, I let you watch a little TV while I donned my work apparel.  The whole time I dressed, I used my teacher skills to help you prepare for the transition from TV to getting in the car to go to school.  "Ian, when Mommy has her shoes on it's time to go."  A few minutes later: "Ian, Mommy now has her left shoe on.  When the other shoe is on it's time to go."  And finally: "Ian, my shoes are on!  Let's to go school!"  And you seemed to be following directions without complaint.  Or so I thought.  Your new temper-tantrum-thing is throwing things.  When you don't get your way, you'll occasionally throw what ever is in your hand or whatever is nearest your throwing arm.  On this fateful day, it was our remote.  It hit the floor and the battery cover came off.  I counted down from about 20, and then told you The Fib. 

"Ian, you know that you are NOT allowed to throw things,  and now you've thrown the remote and broke the TV.  Now we have no TV to watch."  Poor you went to school all quiet and contrite.  On one hand, I felt bad that I had stretched the truth.  But on the other, you seemed to get it.  You kept repeating, "Ian throw remote and broke TV."  Hmmm.  Maybe it would sink in this time that throwing things in a rage just isn't cool.  I stuck to my guns that afternoon, and the TV remained silent and dark.  You would ask every now and then about it, but then you would remind yourself that you had thrown the remote and therefore no TV. 

Then I took my fib another level:  why not increase your belief in that parental omnipotence thing.  I told you that Daddy might be able to fix the TV later on.  Fast forward to today after two days of no TV, and we finally tried the remote.  It worked!  You shouted, "Daddy fixed it!" and kept thanking him over and over even though he wasn't even in the house.  Then I heard you say, "Ian not throw remote no more."  You learned my lesson, Daddy now looks like a super-hero and maybe the remote will live past your two's.

I am now hoping with all my might that this little action/consequence lesson, even though it's sort of based on a fib, will stick and we'll be able to curb your little throwing issue.  And here's hoping that Mommy doesn't become a pathological liar by the time you're four. 

I love you, and that's the truth!
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  1. Your blog is so wonderful, Karen!! I love reading it from time to time- wishing I would have done the same with my kiddos... Ian will so treasure this one day!!! ((HUGS)) Dani (Stutler) Strickland