My kid is charming.
I began suspecting this might be the case a couple of months ago, and the charm continues to grow more overt every day.
1. If I tell him it’s time for a nap, he says, “I no take a nap, no thank you. Maybe yater. Maybe yater I take a nap. Not now, no thank you.”
2. When I ask him what he wants to do in the morning, he says, “I eat my breakfast, you finish you coffee, you take you shower and I play on the iPad … sound good?”
I mean … it does sound good, you know?
I think we all want our children to show emotional maturity; to display politeness and thoughtfulness and empathy for others. Even so, there have been a few moments over the past few weeks that have made me pause and think that he’s a little *too* emotionally mature for his age – that he gets me a little *too* well.
Yesterday, for instance. Ryan had his own agenda from the moment he woke up. His agenda involved the iPad and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Dinosaur Train; none of which fully aligned with my agenda. When Ryan’s agenda doesn’t align with my agenda, he becomes a little … frustrated.
Meaning, we have a day full of hitting (on his end) and Time Out enforcement (on my end). Occasionally, he still throws in some biting for good measure, which really pisses me off and makes me bypass Time Out and go straight for Quiet Time in his room until supper.
When I went into his room to spring him loose for dinner, I looked at him sadly and said, “You bit me today. That hurt Mommy.”
He gasped. He looked very concerned.
Ryan: “Ohhhh. I bite you. You sad?”
Me: “Yes, it made me sad. It hurt my feelings – and it hurt my hand.”
Ryan: “Awwwww! I make you sad?”
(And then he looked at me the sweetest, most hopeful face and said…)
Ryan: “Aww … You love me?”
I softened like dirt in the rain.
I told him that of course I love him. That he makes me happy every. single. day. but I get sad when he hits me or bites me, because good boys don’t behave that way and I know what a good boy he is. I told him I know he’ll be better now – he just needed to be reminded not to hit and bite; that we all need reminders once in a while.
He beamed and reached for a hug and said “I yove you, Mommy! Awwww, I make you happy, Mommy!” Then he happily bounced downstairs to dinner.
And I thought, uh oh … did he just charm himself right out of trouble?
It’s a fine line to navigate – teaching kids the consequences of their actions and encouraging them to empathize with others, while not making them feel totally horrible for how they’ve behaved. To be kind without letting them walk all over you.
To not allow yourself to get out-smarted and out-charmed by a two-year-old.