The Cute Factor
My least favorite part of being a parent is the disciplining. To my sister's dismay, I'm not as strict as I could be. When I try to be, he doesn't listen to me much anyway, so why waste my breath? Seriously though, all kids have the cute factor and just like all kids, they have their moments, my kid is no exception. For example, I made the mistake of revealing how cute I think his face is once and he's used it against me ever since.
"Mama, give me the tablet pleeeeeease." Mind you he can't say please too well, so it sounds more like he's saying pweeeeese - increasing the cute factor. "No honey, all kids go to bed without watching the tablet and so can you, pick out a book, I'll read it to you." Not exactly what he wanted to hear I guess. "No mama, pweeeeese, give me the tablet." He also puts his eyes into this moon shape that is so adorable to me and like a sucker, I respond, "Ok, you know I can't say no to that angel face." Right there, that's where it all went down hill for my disciplining.
Now, every time I try and discipline him, he gives me moon eyes, tears up (how do they do this on cue by the way?) and says, "Mama, you know you can't say no to this angel face." When he first said it, I thought it was so cute that I gave in. The second, third and forth time I really was at a loss for what to do...I gave in. Last night was the first time I didn't. He responded by putting me in time out. That meant I had to stay in my room for hours and hours. Hmmm, not a bad thing I've stumbled across.
The ante goes up and my skills as a parent are tested, when he is straight up is misbehaving. (My skills as a parent are limited people). When he was smaller and couldn't talk, I would teach him not to misbehave and he would respond with a toothless, gummy smile. As he has gotten older, he has managed to find (and do) some of my O.C.D. pet peeves: slamming doors, leaving towels on the bathroom floor, walking in the house with muddy feet, screaming. There has to be some sense of order here, what do I have to work with?
Time out is all we have. While it may work, it's not so easy to implement. I have to walk over, pick him up with his arms and legs flying around to put him in. Time out is not something he likes, so he pulls out all the stops. As we're headed over, he'll quickly transform into the cuteness with his moon eyes and fake tears and say, "Mama, pweeeeese don't put me in time out, look at me mama, look!" I look down (from trying to ignore him) to find that he has upp'ed the ante, by putting his fingers into the shape of a heart and right when he knows I'm looking he says; "You can't say no this angel face, r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r!"