Monday, December 13, 2010

Using Fear

Carter is starting to develop certain fears. He won't watch a movie if he thinks there is a monster in it, stuff like that.

But all of a sudden he seems to be really afraid of falling off of things...mainly, his changing table.  I don't know when or how it came about but when we go to change him he gets a little stiff and says "I don't want to fall!"

Now, as his mother my first instinct is to protect him and assure him that he is safe. But my second instinct is to exploit his worries and use them to my advantage. And lately the second instinct has been winning out...

When he is on the changing table he likes to kick things and in general be a pain in the ass. He squirms all around and it's really very annoying. So now I just say "If you move around up here you are going to fall".

That usually does the trick.

And if not, then I can always slide the changing pad up just a little so part of his head is kind of hanging off the table. This makes the threat of falling seem more real...and it is also probably some form of child abuse.

But the thing is, I'm not wrong!

If he moves around too much up there then he WILL fall. I'm just stating the obvious. I'm a realist, Carter. Personally, I think you are never too young to learn about gravity. So actually, I'm giving him a valuable science lesson rather than scaring the crap out of him to benefit myself...and that's my story...

Last week Carter fell while running and split his head open. He went to the doctor's office to get some Dermabond on the cut. He had to be held down and let's just say it was not his favorite moment. On his way out he turned around unprompted and told the doctor "Thank you for putting glue on my head."...just a cute little side note, not the point of the story!

The point of the story is that I now use that against him as well. When he's running around the house or jumping off the couch (yeah, having boys is a blast isn't it?) I tell him "If you do that you'll have to go get more glue on your head". If it doesn't stop him completely it at least makes him pause long enough that I can get my hands on him.

Do I feel guilty using his trauma to scare him into compliance? A little. Do I still do it? A lot.

My mom did the same thing to me when I was younger, so I guess it's just a vicious cycle. She told me that if I bit my nails and accidentally swallowed one it would rip my stomach open. What a loving, caring woman huh? Hmmm...I'm thinking my upbringing has a lot to do with my parenting style. But it did stop me from biting my nails. I rest my case.

Today, however, Carter called my bluff. I was changing him and he looked right at me and said "Mama won't let you fall." Like he was thinking, "Alright, woman! Let's see just how far you are willing to take this game..."

Damn! How can I really threaten him with falling after that? Cause now if he falls it will be because Mama let him. So I had to say that no, in fact, I would not let him fall.

What a punk!
Bottom of Form 1

No comments:

Post a Comment