Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A New Method of Discipline

Yesterday I was on the phone with Holly. I love my phone chats with Holly, she is one of the only people who will put up with conversations that are constantly interrupted by "No, you guys may not dog pile on the baby," "Drew, get out of the windowsill," "Drew, give Mommy the marker," "Drew, get off the table, please," "Drew, please stop standing on that chair," "Drew! Put the meat fork back in the drawer!" Yeah, it's tough to have an insanely curious seventeen month old who climbs and opens child proof locks.


Yesterday was no exception. I was sitting on the loveseat, enjoying my little chat with Holly when Drew came wandering into the room. He had gotten the wooden spoon we use on the twins occasionally at bedtime to encourage them to want to stay in their beds, and was grinning wildly in that way that says he is truly up to something as he carried it across the room. He then climbed up on the big couch, and stood on it, still grinning and waiting to make sure I was watching.

Before I could get him down, he did a little dance. Then he stopped, bent over, and reached his hand with the spoon back and tried to swat himself on the bum, completely missing, but giggling the whole time. Back to dancing, including jumping on the couch this time. Them more swatting, grinning and giggling the whole time.

There is definitely a right thing to do and a wrong thing to do in a situation such as this. The right thing to do would be to firmly explain to the child that we don't stand/jump/dance on the couch, and remove him from the situation. The wrong thing to do would be to laugh hysterically while gasping for breath enough to try to explain to Holly what is going on, and be so doubled over in laughter at the adorableness of his proud little face that you just keep laughing and watch him continue his charade, with tears streaming down your face until you almost fall off the loveseat.

I did the wrong thing.

But seriously, I wish I had a video camera to document the whole episode, it was hysterical. Now, we've never swatted him, I believe he is too young to understand and there are better ways to deal with behavior in babies, but since he shares a room with the twins, he has witnessed a few swats in his day.

Apparently, he figured out that a consequence was coming for dancing on the couch, and he was just gonna take care of it himself. I admire his forward thinking and his apparent desire to take some of the pressure off of me. Now if only I can channel that helpful mindset into something a little more, well, helpful.

At least he is getting the concept of consequences, right?


Mama (Heidi) said...

That is absolutely hysterical!! I'm sure I would have done the wrong thing too.

Whitney Lee said...

I have that problem with my daughter. How do you discipline a child who rushes to do it for you?

An adorable mental image!