Life at the barn continues to roll on; J’s DBS is still not through, we’re now trying bribery to keep the boy dry through the night and the girl dry through the day (serves me right for the gleeful “Yay she’s done it!” in my post about her potty training) and the trees around us continue to get barer as the cold weather sets in.
Just to keep things interesting, the boy seems to have developed a new nuance to his personality. Every time we congratulate him on behaving well, he then does what he’s been congratulated on not doing. Confused?? Try living with him.
The boy has a bit of a temper at the minute, being a very typical threenager (I hate these little names people come up with, but this suits him so well, I can’t resist it); one minute he’s sulking and grunty, and the next he’ll have a screaming fit because life is just so unfair. A couple of nights ago we were in the bathroom and I was trying to get him to have a wee before bed (always a bone of contention), he got really frustrated and released the highest pitched shriek he could muster, little red face, fists clenched the whole kit and caboodle.
“Well done darling, I could see how very frustrated you were, but you didn’t hit mummy and that’s really good. I’m so proud of you,” says I.
The boy puts on his bestest, biggest grin and punches me, full force, in the shoulder.
As you might have picked up if you’ve read previous posts, I struggle a bit with parenting; a bit too sarky perhaps, a bit too selfish definitely, and more than a little petulant. But when I try my hardest to be the positive parenting role model, I don’t expect him to turn the tables on me and become a little devil.
This isn’t a one off. I asked him to put down a curtain pole he was carrying off (no doubt to attack sister with), he did it first time – miraculous in itself – I congratulated him, immediately the curtain pole was picked up, carried off and stood on, my cries to “put it back!” unheeded. Congratulate him on not pushing his sister over, guess who ends up on her bum?? And so it goes on. And for those wondering, it’s not just saved for me, he behaves exactly the same for J. Although at nursery? He’s a darling of course!
It does leave us in a bit of a quandary though, we know all too often we are telling him off for something or other, and so we really try to make sure we do recognise his positive behaviour, and praise him when appropriate. So after getting the praise, he immediately misbehaves, thereby getting a telling off (albeit a generally exasperated mild one)…a double whammy of attention, getting both a positive and negative response in the space of 30 seconds. Perhaps what we’re witnessing is a threenager version of having your cake and eating it??