Well, I decided to try an experiment today. Not sure why I picked today of all days given that Nik was up at 4:15 this morning, was tired out from a full day at school, AND we were having dinner at my parent’s tonight while Niksdad was at work. Usually a recipe for impending doom as the hour grows later…
The experiment? Treat Nik like a completely typical kid regarding discipline. No allowances for possible language comprehension problems, no compensation for his complex history, and no sympathy for those killer baby blues with the ungodly long lashes. (I can’t help it, I am such a sucker for that kid’s eyes and smile!)
It wasn’t perfect but nearly every time I told Nik “No” in a very firm voice and either made him pick up whatever he threw, move away from whatever he was about to throw, or move away from dangerous/breakable things, etc. he actually responded appropriately! I was so shocked.. and pleased.
Now, I know that it’s a lot easier with a smaller child and I am not so naive as to think one successful experiment means the battle with Nik is won. I know it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better and even then it will change through the years.
However, I won a far greater victory today…the battle with myself to stop seeing Nik as some fragile creature who might break if Mommy says “No!”
Hah! Not this little guy…the one who likes to flip himself backward and head first off the couch. The kid who likes to slide on the big kid slides instead of the toddler slides (also head first when Mom and Dad aren’t fast enough to stop him). The kid who like hot salsa, Chinese hot mustard, horseradish, and lemons (hold the tequila for now!). Definitely not a frail flower!
The gloves are off. Let the games begin…I only hope I can outlast my fearless, feisty child!