So basically I have a spoiled rotten three-year-old living with me and no one to blame but myself. His mom is here too of course. But all that gets me is this…Momma yells at him and he runs screaming to me. I don’t yell anymore. Due to my ever so vast experience and superior knowledge, having raised two daughters to adulthood, I know that yelling only brings on more yelling. And there’s no winning a shouting match with a toddler. Instead, I have “the look”. Eyebrows lowered, nostrils slightly flared and lips, as my mother always said, pressed togetherly. Works at least nine out of ten times. Ok, five out of ten but who’s counting.
The problem is the sympathy factor. I think most grandparents have it. You know what it is. Your little baby is getting scolded or punished for something they deserve to be scolded or punished for. And it’s like watching your own child getting yelled at by the soccer coach. You want to step in but you know you just can’t. In this case it would null the effectiveness factor of the parental unit. But, oh you want to.
Case in point, yesterday the little angel took it upon himself to make lunch. Not sure what he made but he was banished to his room. He came sneaking into my sanctuary, which is typically off limits when I’m working unless it’s time for the evening Imagination Movers viewing on my laptop, and sat on my bed quietly beside me. That was my first clue as this child never sits quietly for much. He broke my heart as he sat dejectedly looking at his clasped hands and sighing deeply. Remembering the effectiveness factor, our conversation went something like this:
YaYa: What’s wrong, buddy?
Elijah: I made Momma mad.
YaYa: What did you do?
Elijah: I made lunch.
YaYa: Why did you do that? You know you aren’t allowed to be in the kitchen alone.
Elijah: I was ever so hungry. I didn’t mean to make a mess and now Momma is really mad at me.
YaYa: Did you say you were sorry?
YaYa: Why not?
Elijah: Cause I don’t know.
Oh, the sad little face he had! It was either smother him with hugs and kisses or laugh hysterically. I did neither. I did the right thing, which was to advise the little imp to apologize to his mother, then I sent him on his way. Telling my daughter to have patience is easy to do but I remember when mine were that age. Seriously, how much patience did I have? Probably about the same amount as she does. But what is more important? Having to mop the kitchen floor for the second time that day or encouraging the child’s creativity in lunch construction?