Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's Good to Be a Mom

Today was one of those rare days when parenting seemed almost easy. This was a blessing after a several week stretch of behavior so bad that several times, I came seriously close to looking into how young military schools would accept small boys.

It all started when Cade was campaigning (for the trillionth straight day in a row) for a booster seat as we loaded into the car this morning. He is desperate to move out of the carseat and into a "big boy" booster where he can use a "real" seatbelt. Since few things outside the realm of electronics actually excite or motivate him, I decided to seize the opportunity. He's been giving me a hard time lately with following directions, getting dressed, and cleaning up after himself, so I offered him a little deal. Dress yourself for the next week and cooperate during bath/bedtime and Mommy will buy you a big boy booster. He jumped on it.

At lunch time, we made a sticker chart so we could track his progress. And boy, did he progress! Not only did he get the AM and PM stickers I promised him for getting dressed nicely (AM) and doing bath/bed nicely (PM), he earned a bonus sticker for model behavior in between! What constitutes model behavior in our house? Well, behavior that other parents (i.e. those that have girls) probably consider every-day behavior. A few examples:

  • In the morning, Cade brushed his teeth and put the toothbrush back in the holder, rather than flinging it down the hallway.
  • When it was time to wash Big Lovey, Cade cheerfully threw him in the washer and helped me start it instead of screaming and crying on the floor next to the washer the entire time it was going.
  • At the playground, he generously shared his Goldfish crackers with his friends by handing them to the friends, rather than standing at the top of the playscape and pouring them down on top of the friends, his usual style when "sharing" with his brother.
  • When eating lunch, he ate all of his food (including the fruit!) and then put his plate in the sink instead of shuffleboarding it across the kitchen floor to see if he could knock his brother's plate (also discarded onto the floor) into the dining room.
  • When waiting in line to order dinner at Chick-Fil-A (dad worked late, mom was too lazy to cook), he refrained from tackling the brownie display at the cash register and knocking brownies onto the floor while insisting he was entitled to a brownie.
  • At bathtime, he did cave to the temptation to create a tsunami to wipe out the bathtub dinosaurs, but then promptly jumped out of the tub, apologized, and asked for a towel to wipe up the water on the floor.
  • At bedtime, he politely listened to 4 books, closed his eyes, and went to sleep instead of delaying bedtime by an hour asking to peepee, drink water, keep the light on, or sleep in another room than his brother, insisting that "Drew smells like throw up."

As a bonus, what Aaron and I have suspected all along is true: left un-harassed and un-riled by Cade, Drew will actually also behave 99% of the time!

What can I say - this was my dream day. I don't dare hope that I see another one any time soon, but it was so great that one about every 4 years is enough to keep me going.


Linda said...

I am laughing so hard, I'm crying. Yes, as a mother of a four-year old as well, these are very memorable moments. We did the chore chart too and i was surprised how it actually transpired to everything they did that day. We included Anna on it as well. For 3 weeks we did, but when the novelty stopped, I took the chart away. Will bring it back at some point.

Ståle said...

Freaking hilarious. Can't quit laughing. The Christmas/Preggers recap was money :-)