Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Aftermath (if you're interested)

This post is a postscript to tonight's earlier muddling-out-loud Bad Mom post so you might want to read that first. Also, this is likely only interesting to people who are also dealing with 4 year old masterminds.

So tonight, after he got back from swimming (and I'd had a chance to stew my own juices out) ...

I tried to give him a hug, but he was squirmy. I asked him what was going on, and he was mad because I'd said no to a third bagel and suggested nuts instead. We had a pretty good conversation about the body, its needs, nutritious mix, and he reluctantly settled back into my arms.

Then the following conversation, which I am transcribing as closely as I can.

I said: I'm worried.

He said: Why?

I said: Because at school this week, you hit other kids and stole a toy. And you lied to me.

He said: Oh.

We sat for awhile.

I said: What could we do?

He said: Maybe, don't tell lies?

I said: Yes, that would really help. If you only tell me true things, I can believe you. That's one thing.

He said: Number two - don't hit!

I said: That's harder. Sometimes it's hard not to hit when you're mad.

He said: Yeah.

I said: What will you do when you want to hit?

He said: Um, stomp my feet?

I said: Good! You might want to tell your teacher that's what you're doing. Do you need help with that?

He said: No, I can tell her.

I said: Is there anything else?

He said: Don't steal.

I said: Yes, stealing isn't fair. How do you think that boy felt when you took his toy?

He said: I don't know. Sad?

I said: How would you feel if he took your toy?

He said: I would be so mad!

I said: Was he mad?

He said: No. I don't know.

I said: Do you think maybe you could tell him you're sorry to took his toy?

He said: Yeah. But I'm shy.

I said: Yes, it's hard to say you're sorry. It's up to you, but it would be a good thing to do.

He said: I'll try.

I said: So what are the three things?

He said: Only say what's true. Um...I forget number two

I prompted: No...

He said: Hitting! No hitting!

I said:  And number 3?

He said: No stealing.

I said: You'll have to work hard to remember.

He said: If I forget, will you hate me?

I said: I will never hate you.

He said: Okay. (he settled more comfortably in my arms)

I said: I will always love you. Even if I'm mad I will never hate you. I love you no matter what.

He said: Thanks, mom. Maybe I'll have some nuts now.

So, we'll see.