Monday, January 29, 2007

A magical incantation

Scooter is an odd combination of stubborn and compliant. If there is something he really doesn't want to do, he will dig in his heels. Or, more accurately, shriek and sit down hard on the floor. On the other hand, most of his protests about bathtime or bedtime consist of a couple whiny 'no's, but then he runs off and does what he's supposed to.

On the flip side, the little things that many kids do that drive parents crazy don't even cross Scooter's mind. Climb out of bed without permission? We had to actively teach him to get out of bed and come to our room in the morning if we are not yet awake. Drawers and cabinets full of kitchen items? He rarely opens them, and then only when someone's in the kitchen.

When Scooter does go against our wishes and intent, his resistance is more often manifested in a playful way. Time for medicine? He ducks his head, covers his face, sticks out his tongue. Need to get into pajamas? Curl into a tight little ball, giggling the whole time. At those times, I don't want to be too forceful and make him think I don't appreciate his humor. So I usually play along for a little bit, and then say, "OK, you really need to [x] now."

And if he still resists? I've discovered a magic spell. Said in a firm, but not harsh, tone, "I'm going to count to 5." And then I do. 1... 2... 3... He's eyeing me, amusement on his face, but not yet complying. 4... He's almost ready to get into position. 5... In position, total compliance.

The other night, when he was a complete wiggle-worm, I said, "Do you want me to count?" He immediately began to do what I had asked, but started counting and looked at me expectantly.

I'm trying not to use this too often, as I don't want its magic to wear off too soon.


bubandpie said...

At the risk of redundancy, I have to say it: our sons are so alike.

Her Bad Mother said...

You can count Wonderbaby in that category of resisto-compliant. Quite the work, it is.