Wednesday, January 6, 2010

He Met His Match...

...and her name is MOMMA!

GG is a breeze to parent. But he obviously received a tad bit of spoiling in China. (With that face and personality, it's no wonder!) When he wants something, he asks for it over, and over, and over again, expecting immediate compliance. "Toast, Momma? Toast? Momma? Toast? Toast!" Or, "Gum? Gum? Gum? Gum, Momma?!!???!!!" If I say no, he will find a spot to sit alone and quietly look pathetic...or, at last resort, cry big crocodile tears. When I say no to something I have to check to see if he's still in the room a couple minutes later; often as not, I'll find him tucked quietly away somewhere, pouting/weeping.

Today, I looked at the clock and saw it was 2:15. I walked around the house, picking up stuff and putting it away, picking up stuff and putting it away... I looked at the clock again. It was 3:15. My oldest, BigSis (19), is home on break. I laughed, "Do you see now why I work all day and never get anything done?" She turned her head toward the school area where GG sat in the middle of buttons strewn all across the room, an empty button tin next to him. Dotted across the mess were dozens of little plastic bottles and eyedroppers, the result of dumping a container of "doctor stuff."

I sat down next to my almost-four-year-old and explained to him that 'LilDude was picking up leaves outside, Mommy was cleaning the kitchen, and he was going to put the buttons back in the container.

He vehemently shook his head. "I sick." [**Sidenote: this morning he woke up and said, "I sick." Then, "I watch Thomas the Train." When he arrived home we learned that being sick in China was scary because it meant a trip to the doctor and an IV. Here he quickly learned that it meant movies on the couch. He's no longer afraid of being sick!]

"You can sit on the couch and rest until you feel better, then you can come pick up the buttons."

He sat on that couch. And sat on that couch. The "pathetic look" showed up first, followed quickly by the "I'm not going to do it" crocodile tears. Periodically I checked in with him, reminding him that each of us have jobs in our family and that his job is to pick up the buttons.

Louder tears. With a really cute but definite, "I ain't doing this, Momma!" stance.

After awhile I picked him up and moved him to the middle of the button pile. He sat. And sat. And sat. I tempted him with a penny for his bank (he's into money, but not THAT into money) and a stick of gum (he lighted up at that, but still no dice), but he still SAT.

He'd periodically tease me by putting a couple buttons in, but then he'd quit with a "Momma DO IT."

This lasted a very, very long time. (I emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, made dinner and looked up a couple things on the internet--all while this was going on.)

Then, very slowly, a seismic shift. One button in. Two buttons in. A pill bottle (the doctor's stuff still out!) filled with buttons, in.

Suddenly, it was done. He sprinted to the gum and had it in his mouth before I could even scan the entire floor.

Momma won, despite the cuteness factor.

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