The night before last, the boy child dawdled and lollygagged on the toilet before bed. He does this often. He likes to sit and play while doing business. This is sometimes a welcome break for me, because I can do other things like catch up on my favorite blogs. 🙂 Other times, like before bed or before we need to walk out the door, it frustrates me to no end. See, I am of the “sit-shit-n-git” variety. I don’t need to ponder the wonders of the world. I just go in and git ‘er done.
Despite the many reminders of the extraordinary amount of time he was in there, warnings of the countdown to bedtime, and the shrinking amount of time he had left to make it to bed at a fairly decent hour, he played on. I finally had to make this a lesson he would not forgot. I hated doing it. It broke my heart. I wanted to cave. But I held to my guns.
We normally read two books before bed. Sometimes he picks both. If it’s around a time of year where I have a nice selection of books on the subject, then I pick one from that group and he picks one of his choosing. When he’s fiddle-farting on the can (pun intended), I start threatening to cut a book, the one he gets to pick usually, to try to send the message that I am serious. Mostly, this works.
This time, however, it did not. He said, “I only wanted one book tonight, anyway.” And legitimately, sometimes he really does want only one book and he’s satisfied. But the smart-ass tone of his voice indicated that this was not the case.
Upping the stakes, I told him that he was precariously close to losing the one book he had left. He loves books before bed. I thought, surely this will get my point across that I. really. mean. business! He must not have believed me because he called my bluff.
Shazaam! Pissed-off super mom to the rescue! No waffling or caving allowed. Foot was put down. There were many, many tears and loud sobs and buckets of snot.
I decided that I needed to tell him that I was not enjoying this one single bit. I did not like this lesson at all. I really wanted to snuggle and read my child a book or two before bed, especially since I have so many lovely books thanks to a Scholastic Book buying problem I have. (“Hello, my name is Scattered and I am addicted to buying cheap Scholastic kids books.” “Hi Scattered!”) But I gave him a choice, and he made it, and now he was going to have to accept the consequence of his decision. I gave him a few books to look at, since he’s not quite reading alone yet. He wanted nothing to do with them, and after some quiet tears, he finally fell asleep. Pissed-off super mom went *poof* and all that was left was an emotionally worn out lil ole me.
….Fast forward about 20 hours….
When I started the countdown to bedtime last night, a miracle happened. When I said it was time to go upstairs to the bathroom to potty-wash-hands-brush-teeth-get-jammies-on, he complied. He did NOT sit and play. He went in and got ‘er done.