Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Setup

I put Christian to the test today.  Okay ... I set him up.  I'm not going to "candy coat it" - pun intended!

Today Christian came home from school with some plastic eggs filled with jellybeans.  We don't give him candy at home, so jellybeans are a real treat.

He wanted the bag in his room for naptime, and I declined.  He asked again, I declined.  He insisted ... and I caved in.   Getting little sleep for the past three months is somehow all catching up with me today and I just didn't have the energy to fight him on this one.  Pick your battles, they say.

So I decided to make it a learning experience.

I sat him down and explained that his bag was to stay on his beadside table.  He wasn't to touch it, wasn't to open any eggs.

"Do you understand, Christian?"
"I understand, Mommy."

Let the test begin.

As he often is these days, he was full of energy at naptime and simply wasn't sleeping.  But he's still really good about staying in his bed until I tell him it is time to get up.

So time passed and I heard his door shut ... and I wondered ...

But I'm just to tired too tired get up and investigate (weekend, come quickly!).

A bit later, I heard some paper crinkling.  And it kept crinkling ... and kept crinkling.

I walked in to find he'd taken off his shirt, and in the darkness I could see the sticky, colorful remnants of jellybean "juice" (read "spit") all over his face, chest, belly and hands.

"Christian, did you eat your jellybeans?"


"Christian, tell Mommy the truth. Did you eat your jellybeans?"

"No, Mommy.  I didn't eat my jellybeans."

I explained to him that I knew he ate them because he was all covered in stickiness - and becuase his breath smelled like candy.  I looked in his hand and saw a small bag of candy that he'd been unable to open.   Crinkly noise explained. :)

I explained that he must always tell Mommy the truth and I said, "Christian, did you eat jellybeans?"

"No, I ..."

"Christian, tell Mommy, 'Yes, Mommy, I ate the jellybeans."

"Yes, Mommy, I ate the jellybeans."

"Thank you for telling me the truth (big smile).  I feel very happy when you tell me the truth."  (Christian definitely understands the concepts happy and sad nad he knows that Mommy and Papa "feel happy" when he listens ... and "feel sad" when he doesn't).

A made sure my response was very pleasant and with a smile so that he knows I won't flip out when he tells me the truth (ask me again in about 10 years after he's come to me with some terrible, gut-wrenching truth ... I might not be so cordial in my reaction).

As I got up to leave and take the bag with me, he said, "Mommy, can I have jellybeans after my nap?"


He asked me to leave the bag in there, and I obliged again.  We'll see if #1, he can resist the candy and #2, if he can't, if he owns up to eating them.

So yep ... I set my four-year old up twice. :)

By some miracle, he's asleep right now - even with all that candy in his bella.  And I'm willing to bet that when he wakes up, he's not feeling so good.  That happeend in Valentine's day when he ate way too much candy, cookies, etc.

Sometimes lessons learned are painful ... and come with a bit of vomit.  (eeew!)

No comments: