"Danny, Daddy can't see to drive when the lights are on." And here's where we veer off into wicked, exasperated mommy behavior ... "If he can't see, Daddy will crash into a tree and we'll all die. Okay?," I said sweetly.
"Get a boo boo," Danny says, solemnly nodding his head. (Apparently, that's his concept of death right now and that's okay with me.)
We heard one more murmur about the lights. My husband pulled the car over and barked confidently "I want a quiet ride home, Dan."
And for good measure, here's a list of things I have NOT done in the past 24 hours. Really.
- I did not echo my mother's words by telling my 3 yo to stop crying or I'd give him something to cry about. (And I didn't even have a plan.)
- I did not wave the white flag and put my almost 3 yo son back in diapers after a month of him routinely peeing in and now also pooping in his pants ... because that would send a mixed message to my son. (actually, he's getting very few of the messages we send right now, so I'm not sure he really gets the implications of going back to diapers.)
- I did not bribe my son with M&M's in the grocery store ... because that would make me a pushover. (does it make it any better that it was DARK chocolate M&M's? or is that canceled out by the fact that we were there to buy diapers?)
- I did not nurse my daughter for 20 minutes this morning, let her cry for 45 minutes and then go in and nurse her again ... because that would have taught her that crying for 45 minutes works AND reinforced her nurse-to-sleep habit.
- I did not eat half a bag of Cheetos (no, not the snack size bag, the 8 oz bag) ... because that would be a really bad example for the son I'm trying to teach to subsist on more than fruit snacks and gum.
- I did not let my daughter eat goldfish crackers off of a sheet pan on the floor (and neither did my husband) ... because that would just be too, too sad and possibly negligent. I didn't let my kids eat goldfish crackers off the actual floor either. (well, yes, I did ... as you can see from the photo.)
I've found one discipline trick that works with him. I count. I rarely get past the number two. If I get to three, he sits for two minutes. Boy does he hate that. Last night I used it when he was whining about having a piece of gum.
"You have three seconds to stop whining about gum. One."
"Piece of gum," he cried.
"Piece of gum," he cried, louder, and now hanging off the kitchen table.
I held up a third finger and raised my eyebrows ominously. He turned on his heels and walked out of the kitchen without a sound.
(Whew, that was close ... a rare near-three.)