WE made it through yet another Holiday. (Or if you speak of it in school, a fall festival). Sam was the only Bee in the parade at his school, and Caleb donned the alligator suit that each of his brothers had once worn. Lucas was going to go as a football player, but since he IS a football player, it hardly seemed like a costume. Last minute we decided to change him to a Navy Seal. I printed out a Navy Special Warfare patch and Seal Trident off the web and taped them to a pair of my old DCU's. The highlight of the night was not all the candy, or the ringing of doorbells in our old neighborhood. It was Caleb shedding some light on what he thought of our parenting skills. Caleb is 4, almost 5, yet he is wise and shrewd well beyond his years. (See Calebisms, 4/05)
We were sitting at the dinner table with the three squirrelly boys, trying to keep them calm through the meal so we could get to the sugar buzz that was to come later. All three are at the same time going though that phase where it takes ever increasing threats of parental action to change their behavior - but therein lies the enlightening moment - a threat is merely a threat until it is followed through. The threat of punishment is not punishment and therefore useless; here's why:
Caleb was not listening, he was being loud and unruly. The threat was already out there.
"If I have to talk to you one more time, you will skip the first house that we go to and you won't get any candy till the second house." Caleb continued the same behaviors that initiated the threat.
"That's it Caleb, you just lost the first house, you are going to wait by me when your brothers got get candy from the first house."
Caleb calmed, looked his mom right in the eyes and said "Mom, you're not going to remember that."
I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. This impetious four year old just called his mom's bluff, despite the fact that it wasn't even a bluff! She's the mom! She's always got pocket aces, she can do whatever she wants - SHE'S THE MOM, THAT'S WHY.
We forgot. Just like Caleb said. He was at the first house with his brothers and the rest of the crew. WE didn't remember until about the 10th house, and by then it was too late.
(This post is dedicated to grandparents everywhere who probably think its real funny when their grandkids pull the same crap their kids did growing up.)