Sunday, September 6, 2009

1,2,3, MAGIC!

Ok, so we've had an interesting development this week in Jack's behavior. He's been testing his boundaries a little bit, which is totally normal. Everything is "No Mommy" or No Daddy". But nothing too devastating. He's just saying it. As in "Do you want to take a nap?" "No Mommy." And then 4 minutes later he's snoring.

There is however, one area where this "No" business is growing troublesome. Getting in the car. He likes to get into the driver seat. He likes to sit on the back seat next to his car seat. He likes to procrastinate getting to the car, by stopping short and turning to stone, immoveable.

Last week I saw a mother talking to her daughter who was not on her best behavior. She said "I'm going to count to three". I thought "Hey, that's a good idea". It's like saying, "I'm going to let you misbehave only so long, and once I've gotten to three, you'd better be done, or there's going to be consequences".

So, we're all getting in the car the other day, and Jack is noodling around in the front seat, and I say in as firm a mom voice I can manage "Jack, I'm going to count to three and you'd better be in your seat." Lo and behold, he hops to it, scrambling over the arm rest, leaping into his seat, and buckling his own seat belt, all the while saying in his most desperate voice "No Mommy, no Mommy!" Nipper looked at me like "What did you just do to our child?"

The truth is, I have no idea! I never threatened any consequence. It's not like one time I counted to three and then spanked him or took his toy away or anything. I just counted to three. It was like magic.

Two nights ago, he was dawdling at the bottom of the stairs. He didn't want to go up and take a bath at bedtime. Standing behind him, I said "Don't make me count to three". OH MY GOD. He was up the stairs faster than was probably safe for a toddler to climb. Again, crying out "No Mommy, no Mommy, NO!" Incredible.

The weird thing is, now, when he knows he's doing something bad. He asks me to count to three, so he can pretend to be terrified, and cry "No Mommy". What a strange family charade. We are raising a drama queen.


  1. Counting is strange magic that I am oh so fond of.
    My kid also threatens to put himself in the time out chair when he "thinks about" doing something naughty. He rarely makes it there.

  2. Just wait until he defys the counting. You should really have a punishment already in mind so when he tests you on that you're ready to go!