Monday, September 18, 2006

life lessons taught gently

Whenever possible, I try to teach Daniel the realities of life before "life" does. What am I talking about? For example: "You can't have everything."
Between his dad and myself, Daniel got three new toys last week. He had been so good on his field trip, then while I took him grocery shopping, that I let him pick out a new toy. "Lighning McQueen!" he cried.
But on our way to the car aisle, we passed the Thomas trains. "I want James!" he said.
"If you get James, you can't have Lighning McQueen," I replied in my best mommy voice.
"I want James!" he insisted.
"Okay." So we got James. But knowing my child as I do, I also slipped a Lightning McQueen into the cart and managed to smuggle it home without him seeing it. Because sure enough, two hours after we were home, "I want Lightning McQueen!"
We had a talk about how he had made a choice between James and Lightning at the store and now he had to live with it. And so we made it through the night.
But the next morning, Lightning resurfaced in his little heart's desire. I calmly said, "If you want Lightning McQueen, you have to give James back." So he brought me the little red train. And I handed him the racecar.
Throughout the day, he'd periodically "swap" with me. But he understands that if he wants the one I have, he has to give up the one he has.
Like I said, Life Lessons in baby steps.

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