We are working with Sprout on building some healthy independence. Granted, a few months back we were spending hours in a therapist’s office working on building attachment, but according to our therapist, you can’t have one without the other. So, here we are.
I hand Sprout his pajamas and request that he go in to the bathroom to get changed and brush his teeth. Then I jump onto the computer for a little blog reading because that task takes, on average, 12 hours to complete when you are a 4 year old boy.
It starts off as it always does, with the stalling and the whining…“But mommy, I can’t untie my shorts” (nevermind the fact that he had them untied and off in a hot minute earlier that day to go swimming). “Mommy, I don’t know how to take the top off the toothpaste” (wierd, he could definitely do it yesterday when he smeared it all over the sink during a fit). “But Mommy, I’m pretty sure my elbow is broken” (this one made me chuckle. “pretty sure” is his new saying).
10 minutes or so goes by and I realize that its way too quiet in the bathroom. I get suspicious… “Sprout, remember that you need to stay on task in order to have time for two books tonight.”
Still nothing. ::sigh:: Off to investigate…
Crap, he’s not in the bathroom. I go from living room to dining room to kitchen flipping on lights trying to find out where he’s hiding and now its time to break out the mommy voice. “Sprout, being off task has now cost you one book. Please go back to the bathroom and finish your jobs.”
::silence:: What. The. Fudge?!
So I head upstairs, preparing my disciplinary speech with every step. I open the door to his room to see him sitting nicely in his bed with two books on his lap.
“Hi mommy, I was waiting for you. I already brush my teeth and put on my super heros. See?”
Shocked, very pleased, and guilty.
“Great job! I’m sorry I thought anything less of you buddy.”
And that’s when it occurred to me that I’m not parenting the same boy I was 6 months ago. The pendulum has swung and the good far far outweighs the bad. Man, I love that kid.