Sh*t I Say: “That’s One…”
Today is the twentieth day of the April A to Z Challenge. During this month I will be writing blog posts every day (with breaks on Sundays) about the topic “Sh*t I Say” starting with each consecutive letter of the alphabet. This is one crazy project, y’all.
That’s one. That’s two. That’s THREE. Time out!
Long ago, back when I read books about parenting, I decided that books are not the final authority: I am. I parent with a “whatever works” philosophy that is fueled by love and the surprised joy that my children brought into my life. It’s all done under a haze of exhaustion and frayed nerves, but since it has love behind it, my actions are generally fair and meant to establish healthy boundaries in order to shape my little boys into respectable, kind people.
But sometimes they just piss me off. See the post about the roaring.
Whether the boys are testing my patience to see how far they can get, or they are out of control because of their little-boy frenzied energy, or because they simply do not know enough about the world to know that their actions are not allowed, I generally use the 1-2-3 Magic method of disciplining them. I’ve been doing this since Kyle was about three years old, back when I read a book titled “Your 3-Year-Old – Friend or Enemy?” whose main advice was to get a babysitter and flee the 3-year-old during his worst moments.
The 1-2-3 method has worked well since then, because it appeals to my logic and it stretches my patience. The key, as with most anything concerning raising a child, is to be consistent.
That is why Stewart is a perfect control to the experiment that is Prince Family Discipline. Case in point:
A few weeks ago we took the kids to the pool. I took a phone call while Stew kept his eyes on the boys, and when it was time to go I was still on the phone (talking about this, so cut me some slack), so he was trying in vain to get them to come out. We were both in street clothes, so jumping in to remove them physically was not an option.
Stewart interrupted my call and said “Can you please get them out of the pool?” I excused myself from my caller for a moment and said, in a firm voice,
“Get out of the pool.”
Nobody got out of the pool. I made them each look me in the eye and then I said
Guess who scrambled right out of the pool and dutifully dried off? Both my kids, who have been conditioned for years to the consequences of getting to THREE, which mostly consist of sitting quietly for as many minutes as years they have been on this Earth. The usual spot is the love seat in the formal living room, which has become known now as The Time Out Room.
I’m not saying I do this better than Stewart, or that I am in competition with him in the parenting Olympics, or anything like that. But if the hammer has to come down? I win.