Monday, April 11, 2011

Idle Threats

You see it everyday. Parents bending down to their kid's level whispering that someone bad will get them if they don't stay by their side. Alleging that if they make that "ugly face" again, the next time it will stick.....and then there is the infamous "...if you suck your thumbs anymore the doctor will have to cut them off". Yup, this was me today in full effect - to the point that I wondered how my daughter is not scared to wake up every morning. I like to call these....Innocent Idle Threats.

I'm not sure when I decided that threatening a two year old was acceptable, but I have a feeling it was somewhere in between trying to get a good nights rest and the idea of talking {scaring} her into behaving/reacting faster. In all honesty, my intentions are good. Her thumbs look like they are out of a horror movie; peeling, red, sometimes bloody, and scabbing over. If she runs around the store like a hooligan someone may decide to kidnap her, or better yet just kick her out of the store. But seriously, what is the best way to keep your child from misbehaving while understanding the consequences?

This afternoon we had decided to sit outside and enjoy the extremely warm weather. Ladybug was down to her diaper and Bean had pulled out almost every toy in the garage. I was sitting on my beach chair, jeans rolled up, and enjoying a nice cold beer...OK it was a Izze Tangerine drink, but I was trying to paint a picture for you. It looked like we were having a garage sale, minus the beer and low ballers.
Bean kept running to the next best thing like it was going out of style. "Mom, where's my helmet?", "Please? Bubbles? Can I do bubbles now?", "HAHA, watch me!", she said after her failed attempt to hit the ball off her Little Tykes T-Ball set. I was dizzy watching her run around but glad that she was burning off some energy. "Baby girl, let's paint or draw the letters of the alphabet with the sidewalk chalk", I suggested. She looked at me with the kindest little smile and refused, returning to her Barbie car.
Ladybug was trying to eat Puffs by herself and drinking out of her Sippy cup while twisting and turning in her stationary entertainer. Hours had elapsed and it was finally time for dinner. "Come on, let's go. Time to clean up", I said knowing damn well that this would be the biggest challenge of the day. Of course, no response. She kept playing as if I had never said a word. "Two minutes, little one", I reminded her. Again no response. I started to move Ladybug and our belongings inside and Bean came rushing in behind me ready to eat. "No, ma'am. You need to clean up or Santa won't bring you ANYTHING that is on your wish list. You know he see's you every day, just like in the song. In fact, he's going to come and pick up all of those toys outside and take them back", I stated firmly. Her eyes opened in shock, mouth dropped, and took a quick breath in..."What!?". Now I felt like the meanest mom on Earth. The idle Santa threat partially worked. We both tackled the mess the little tornado left in its wake, while Bean repeatedly asked if Santa was going to come after all.

After putting Ladybug to bed with her favorite Criblanket, Bean and I headed to the bathroom to brush her teeth. She jumped up on her stool, smeared on the toothpaste, and started brushing {and humming} away.

"Hmmm,hmmmm-mmmmm-mmmmmmmmmm, LA, LA LAAAAAAAA, scrub, scrub {brush, brush, brush}...ALL DONE!"

"OK, my turn Etta Bean", I said as I grabbed the toothbrush from her hand. She opened her mouth with a gasp. "That's not nice. Santa isn't going to bring you ANY presents. You need to share and don't pull things out of people's hands!", she lectured. Like I said, Innocent Idle Threats.

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