Sunday, July 10, 2011

Parenting by the seat of my pants

The Prince had some problems being reverent in church today (as expected given all that's been going on lately). I took him out of the meeting a couple times. On the second time out, as I sat down with him in the corner, I heard the sound of my pants splitting. Uhoh.

Thankfully, Prince decided to moan and groan and cry and demonstrate generally that this was going to be a long pause anyway. So I announced to him that we were going to the car.

That REALLY got his attention. "NO! Not to the car! I want to go to Mommy!" he shouted as I led him out to the car. I sat him down, sat myself down.

I started the engine.

He hit a new level of panic.

"No! No! Daddy! Daddy! I don't want to go to the car! I want to go to Mommy! Where are we going?" Home. "No! I want to go to church! I want to go to Mommy! I want last drinks" (a last chance for a drink before bed) "I want to go to church!" The only thing he didn't cry out was "I want my lawyer!"

I explained to him that if he was reverent (and I had a pretty low bar in mind) we would go back to church and he could go to nursery.

He stopped crying instantly. He talked to me a bit about going to church, about being reverent, about how much he likes playing at nursery. I told him the rest of the story - that we would go back to church once I got some new pants.

"Why do you need new pants?"
Because I broke my pants.
"You broke your pants? Can I see?"
Nope. That's why we're going home, because I don't want anyone to see that I broke my pants.

On the way back, I told Prince that the next time we went to church would be the last time. "Why?" Because then we'll go to Utah, and then California, and then Nigeria. Prince cheered "Yaaay! And we'll get to see our new house!"

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Speaking of the Prince, his latest favorite phrase is "Daddy/Mommy, I want you to come and see something in _______." This phrase is most disconcerting when it is followed by "the bathroom." What do you want to show us in the bathroom? ... He never says, just that he wants to show us "something special". Today alone he showed us something special in the bathroom he was sorry about, something he was proud of, something that surprised him, and something that he was concerned about but wasn't his fault. He showed us that he threw his Mario plush on the top games shelf in his room. He didn't ask for it back, he didn't apologize for throwing in the house, he didn't cheer and say look at me ... he just wanted us to know where Mario was.

Reading this to him, he says, "I want you to get Mario." Ah.

 -- Derrill