May 15, 2011

what we've got here is...

recently, bernie has suggested that i take a slightly more stern approach in disciplining the boys. 
this is not as dramatic is it might sound. 
bernie regularly employs the sit-on-the-stairs maneuver. 
i gravitate more toward the "take deep breaths" and "talk it out" tactics. 
less so toward the time-outs and go-to-your-rooms. 
this is largely because when i put ben on the stairs, he finds it hilarious to get up and walk away. 
and, if i'm being honest, that just results in the general declaration of "mommy is about to be really frustrated."
this is not a helpful tactic. 

tonight, bernie is at a counselor fly-in event for First Year Experience. 
i am at home with the smallest savaresi. 
and, in the middle of the bathtime/brushing of teeth routine, anth did something squirrelly. 
nothing outrageous, but something i wanted him to think about. 
so, i took his hand, walked him over to his room, and asked him to sit on his bed. 
i squatted down to look in his eyes and told him that he wasn't in trouble, but that i wanted him to think about why he did what he did while i helped benny brush his teeth. 
and that i wanted a report when i came back. 
he just nodded. 

i went back to the bathroom and "checked" benny's work. 
by "check," i mean that i followed up his 2-minute round of chewing on his toothbrush with a method that actually brushes his teeth. 

after this, i went back to anthony's room. 
i asked anthony what he had thought about. 
he tilted his head sideways toward the bathroom. 
i asked if he had thought about what happened in the bathroom. 
he nodded. 
i asked if he had thought about why he had made the choice that he did. 
he nodded again. 
i asked him to tell me. 
he shook his head. 
i took a deep breath. 
then i told him i needed him to tell me what he had thought about. 
he nudged his head toward the bathroom again. 
i told him that i really needed him to just talk to me. 
at this point he tilted his head back and gurgled, "but, i can't!"
and started giggling. 
as a pool of toothpaste and water sloshed out of his mouth. 

time out #1?
"A" for effort.
"F" for logistics.

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