Last September, Austin started a new preschool. He also came home with a new word, which he unveiled when he was in the bathtub, playing with his Spiderman toys. I'm pretty sure "sh--" might be a word that could be used by a superhero, but since we've never met an actual superhero in real life, I knew he must have learned the word somewhere else.
I was cleaning the bathroom when I heard from the tub, "Sh--, sh--, sh--." I calmly leaned into the tub and asked "What did you say?" He calmly repeated it. Ok, I thought to myself, this is it, don't overreact. I sat down and gently tried to explain that that wasn't a nice word. He took it in stride so I congratulated myself on my great parenting skills and kept cleaning. And then I heard it again. So I calmly talked to him again and then I threatened him with losing Spiderman for a day. That did the trick. So, again I congratulated myself and crossed that parenting milestone off the mental list of unfortunate things I knew I would have to go through with each kid.
And then Sunday came.
We had just sat down for Sacrament meeting and got settled in when I looked over at Austin and he was sticking his middle finger up at me. I did a double take and then realized that he was doing what I thought he was doing. And it was no accident. I quickly sat him on my lap and explained that Heavenly Father and Jesus were sad when we do things like that and that he shouldn't do it. He seemed to accept what I'd said and we got ready for the meeting to start.
Right when the Sacrament song started I looked at Austin. He was standing up with a defiant look and flipping me off AGAIN! I was so mad that I stood up and dragged him out of the bench. I tried to hold his hand and walk out, but he was no dummy. He did not want to go out with me because he could see the fire in my eyes. He then grabbed my bad arm and pulled. That was the end of it. I picked him up under my good arm, like a football, and marched right out of there, high heels and all.
We got into the foyer and it was full, so I dragged him into the nearest empty classroom. I can't really remember what I said, but I do know that he burst into tears and threw himself at me and started hugging me. We walked calmly back into the chapel and I was so surprised that they were still singing the same song. The whole episode must have lasted less than 4 minutes.
Next time I'll just skip Mr. Nice Guy and go straight for the threats. They seem to be the only thing that work sufficiently.
Darn. I really like being Mr. Nice Guy.