Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Cautiously Optimistic

And I'll just say upfront that I'm aware this is a jinx.

I'm sensing the slightest turn in Wyatt's behavior and lo! I am praising it to the ends of the Earth. He's been more charming lately, using his good manners when we're out in public (today at Michael's he was all, "hello lady! How you today? Have nice day!"), and giving us all a lot of unsolicited I love you's. It's refreshing. Oh! He even petted Millie gently yesterday morning and gave her hugs and nice touches!

Don't get me wrong, there are still the issues of my groundhog days full of things I just shouldn't have to say - no climbing on the refrigerator, don't chase the dog, no drumming on walls/stair rails/doors/furniture/cabinets, don't potty on the floor, no hitting people!, etc. - but somehow it's getting minimally more bearable. And for that, I'm really grateful.

Maybe my tolerance is increased because he's becoming better and better company. I mean, anytime your 2-year old looks at you and says, "Mama (I'm now Mama instead of Mommy - who did that?), I have an idea!", says "Yay! Woohoo!" over something as simple as acorns or, when asked what he'd like for lunch says, "grilled cheese samich, grapes and milk!" then thinks you're a superstar for fixing it, life is inherently better, right? Or maybe it's because we finally found a storage system for all the toys in the living room. I don't know. I'm just telling you, it's better.

Of course all of this could be a result of me more liberally using the bribe/if-then style of parenting. You make a potty on your potty? Five M&M's. You try and get nothing? Three M&M's. You're follow directions and keep shoes on while we're at the museum? You get a pack of Smarties on the way home. Judge not, readers. This has proven to be an excellent system with my son and I'm steadfast in not rewarding bad behavior. Like yesterday when Wyatt decided that he'd extricate himself from his stroller in Old Navy? That did NOT earn Smarties but did make me privvy to a full-up fit in the car. I'm just glad he was strapped into his seat because otherwise I'm sure it would have been a tantrum of the throw-yourself-on-the-floor variety he's so fond of these days.

So yeah, he's still two and very much acts like it. It's just that I'm thinking maybe - just maybe - two and a half is going to bring some changes.


Leslie said...

I loved reading this post...I'm right there with you on the power of well used bribes! Unfortunately for me, we're not right there with you on the potty thing...when oh when will Michael show genuine interest in the potty? I know not. Go Wyatt!!! Big guy!

kristen said...

How funny... made Mom and I laugh too! HMMMM my son almost 12 wks old still really hate his car seat! Can you really scream and be unhappy for a 7 hr car drive...guess what...yes you matter how crazy grandma tries to act in the back seat