Thursday, April 01, 2010

In Your Face

James has been testing us a lot lately. His schedule started to fall apart even before Spring vacation, and without the familiar people and routines he has started to test us all to see how far he can go.

You say "come on, James, let's go here" and he runs the other way, laughing. Even better, he'll sidle while looking at you with an expectant, gleeful look of anticipation. Stinker! I say that with love.

He will grab onto things and laugh, throwing them if you try to get him to put it back down. This afternoon I caught him petting another preschooler's hair, ignoring the boy's polite request to stop it.

He will ask to do something and, if met with a "no", he will smile big and reply "Mommy said ... YES!!!" Or I will ask him to do something and he will say "NO! I don't wanna!" and try a couple of tricks ...

The ultimate reminder of consequences of ignoring us *used* to be "Do you want to have a time-out in a corner?" Not so much any more. It works at school still, but not at home. The ultimate recapitulator is now the threat of making him take a shower, followed by hair washing and Darth HairDryer. But that kind of sets up a negative reinforcement for personal hygiene, so I can't really use that one. Unfortunately.

I keep telling myself this is a step forward. His teachers tell me most kids go through phases like this. And I would rather he be in my face, an adorable little boy pest, than quietly sitting in a corner, looking off in the distance into nothing that I can see, which is what he was doing at age 2.

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