Oh yes, we call him the Blitz. He uses his heat seeking powers to finding the only clean room in the house, run straight to it, and leave it in a disheveled heap in only moments. And yet, we adore him.
He has a terrible temper and doesn’t seem to know he’s one of 5 children; at 3 years old, he alone is the center of the universe. Yet this bundle of tantrumming trial is also the biggest love-bug in the place. Several times a day he says, “Mommy, I love you.” A snack or a drink or a regular meal is met with “Thank you” in a tone that implies something completely unearned and unexpected has been gifted him. Any time I leave the room for 5 minutes to fold a load of clothes or make a bed, he is right there saying, “Mommy, I was missing you.”
So you can see the conundrum. It is so, so hard to discipline anyone so cute. He lets me sing him special songs that include his name; he still needs every owie kissed by Mommy (and no one else.) He is always near to keep me company and mine is the name he calls when he has a bad dream or gets his “fee-wings” hurt.
Yet, I know I must. I don’t want him (in only two, too-short years) to be the only Kindergartner flailing about on the floor and screaming when the teacher says it’s time to go to the circle. None of the tricks I used with the “Bigs” have worked on this little guy. You cannot trick or distract him out of a close-at-hand tantrum.
So I’ve done what millions of parents before me have done: I’ve resorted to “incentive’s,” aka bribery. I don’t agree on it in principal, but it’s the only thing that seems to work. It’s a little bribe, as bribes go. Each day that he does not have a fit, he gets to put a little animal sticker on my calendar. Some days just mentioning “sticker” is enough to steer a tantrum into a quick, quiet float to the tile. Other days, like today, it just doesn’t work.
I don’t have any answers here — after all, it’s a Love Thursday post, not an advice column. But this I do know, naughty or not — he’s my sweet little tot!