There are so many times that I have wished that I could have a camera crew following around my children – due to their uniqueness, wit and humour – but since that is never going to happen, blogging about them seems to be the perfect fit.
If you have tried blogging about kids, you know what the big problems are, right? First, having to remember what they said, or did, then there is all the privacy concerns – you don’t want to put them in harm in order to get hits, and finally because as they get older then don’t want stuff about them on the net!
Kids are hilarious. Admit it.
Take this evening, for example, as my middle child, Stewie was showing a childhood friend of his grampa a new toy that he has called Bey Blades. In explaining what they are, the question was asked of him, “are they like dreidels?” to which Stewie replied, “they are like dreidels but they are not. These are made with very sharp steel and if you spin them on your tummy they will slice you in half.”
Oh yes… Very serious boy.
Then there was the day after fathers’ day when Stewie made his 5th consecutive appearance into our bedroom in the middle of the night. Sometimes he arrives because he’s scared of lightning, other times because he had a bad dream. This night it was because he was “bored”.
So I walked him back to his room – without talking to him – and tucked him back in the bed.
No sooner had I returned to my bed when he started to wail, and with that, I heard the stomping of his feet as he made his way back to our room.
Then there was silence.
I think I fell right back asleep.
I opened my eyes at what was likely 5-minutes, but felt like 5-hours and there, standing beside my side of the bed, glaring at me with hate in his eyes, was Stewie.
I got out of bed, and walked him back to his room without engaging him, because engaging him is what he wants and if I don’t talk to him, the hope is he’ll stay in bed next time.
But he was starting to complain so I asked him to tip toe back to his room, as I put my finger over my mouth and whispered Ssshhhhh. That clearly was not what he was hoping for, and instead of tip toeing he began to stomp as loud as he could.
So I got mad and told him if he was going to make any more noise, that I would shut his bedroom door.
NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!
He started to wail very loudly.
Apparently one thing my son hates more than noises in the night is noises in the night in his room with the door closed.
I took a deep breath (probably a very deep breath as it was past 2 in the morning and I made sure I was clear in the way parenting expert Alyson Schafer taught us and I said to him, “This is your choice. Do you choose to be quiet and go to sleep, or do you choose to make noise, wake up your brother, sister and mother, and sleep with the door shut”.
He chose to be quiet.
So I left.
Laid my head down on the pillow… closed my eyes… then heard wailing.
So I walked into his room and calmly said to him, “I believe you have chosen to sleep with the door shut” and with that I quietly shut his door and walked away.
He wailed louder than before.
I went into our bedroom and my wife was now clearly awake. We huddled in for a strategy session. She suggested I bring him into our bed to sleep before he wakes up the rest of the house. Not wanting to be a sardine in my own bed, I went to sleep in his bed.
The kid is a master manipulator! Seriously. Got what he wanted, which was his mother and got me completely out of the picture… Genius!
He must have still been upset in the morning because while I was brushing my teeth, he confronted me in my bathroom (he’s 4-year-old). “Are you going to be nice to me today, Daddy?” he asked.
“Are you going to sleep in your bed tonight?” I countered with.
“If you are not going to be nice to me, I am not going to give you back your fathers’ day presents”.
“You took back my fathers’ day presents???”
At which point I heard giggling from our bed. My wife had heard this exchange and apparently knew he took back my presents.
I got down to his level, gave him a huge hug and kiss, told him I love him and with that, he disappeared into his room, only to return with a bag full of the presents he had given me a week prior. He unloaded the presents as I stood there wondering how we gave birth to the repo man…
He’s going to be interesting as he grows up…
Another interesting parenting moment came one morning last week as we were all struggling though this stomach virus, and our oldest, Linus was sitting on the toilet in his bathroom, Stewie was on the toilet on the main floor of the house and our bathroom was occupied. Only 30 minutes later did we find that Linus’ toilet was never flushed. We called him in but he denied it was him. He said it was Stewie.
“Stewie was on the main floor,” I responded. “It was totally you!”
“Not it wasn’t” defended Linus.
Believe it or not, this conversation went on for 5 minutes, with myself and my wife defending our position and there was Linus with his one line of defense, “It wasn’t me, it was Stewie”.
He kept this up until we dropped it.
Some battles are just not worth fighting, eh?
I’m going to make a note of this pattern and see if it’s something that progresses, continues or drops off as he gets older. Defending shit is not worthwhile!
Finally, one last Stewie story as tonight, he made his way into our bedroom at only 10pm. He was watching my wife work on her laptop, and he was very happy to see that she was exploring the online ordering of stuffed Angry Birds toys.
I thought I could capitalize on this moment and be a great parent when I suggested that my wife not order them until Stewie was able to sleep in his bed for 5 nights in a row. She agreed and together we explained to him why we thought this was a good idea.
Well let me tell you, for those of you who have not met Stewie before, that this bright idea of mine did not go over well at all! He broke into a fit and through part exhaustion, part stress, he said to my wife that she was the “meanest mummy in the universe”.
That was just the beginning! I’m starting to see that when he feels jaded, picked on, or feels that he is being treated unfairly, he immediately strikes out against my wife / his mother. Then he turns his attention to me.
All we heard about for the next 45 minutes through tears, anger and an unwillingness to forget, was that he wanted / needed / was going to get an Angry Bird or he was going to “break down our house”.
He was so over-tired we tried to listen without giggling, but the odd giggle slipped out and I think it made it worse.
Needless to say, we did not order the Angry Birds. We gave him the conditions, and within 2-3 weeks he had the toy.
Another character trait to watch as he gets older!