Raising a child often turns into a staring contest where the winner is the one who blinks first.
I rarely win. I imagine quite a few parents share my plight.
Whether it’s to get MLM out of the bath, get him to not whoop it up in his birthday suit when others are around or just about anything under the sun…I throw down the gauntlet and he immediately ups the ante.
I am severely confused in my mind about what would possess a child to get on his mother’s bad side. I hold the keys to his happiness as it were. I am the cookie dispenser. I also dispense paint, ketchup, bubbles, body cream and Play Doh. Anything that gives him happiness outside his school and let’s him muck about, I obtain or make available for him.
Logically he should be the world’s best brown noser where I am concerned instead of the polar opposite! And yet the battle rages.
Some days it’s skirmishes and other days it’s a no-holds barred, all-out war where the spoils that go to the victor usually lie with MLM and I lose a bit of my poise and sanity each time.
It’s got to the extent that the ‘Look of Shame’ parents cultivated when I was a tot has rather rudely been blown off and instead he’s got me dancing to his tune more often than not.
It used to be that a changed inflection in my voice, a particular gesture would be enough to signal the beginning of parental censure for him. Once I nipped the naughty plans in the bud I’d give a small or big reward depending upon whatever I’d managed to forestall. I thought Pavlov had it right…condition them well for desired behavior and it’s life on the easy street. Balls!
Instead the offspring deliberately goes quiet, knowing fully well no matter HOW noisy it is in the world, I will always hear the sounds of him *not* making any noise. When I sneak up on him to see what’s he’s doing so noiselessly, he looks up and aims a grin at me that’s full of cheeky impertinence and without a care in the world. Rubbing my nose in it so to speak.
I often end up giving him something (read cookies) to prevent the onset of activities that will take a long time to clean up. Somewhere…Pavlov’s dog’s laughing it up big time!