Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Telling the Truth

Ethan has been mercilessly teasing his brothers this morning. Flaunting their favorite toys in their faces just to hear them cry (never mind that they hadn't given those toys a thought until Ethan flashed them in their faces). Taking things away (a classic, of course). And - though it seems minor to an adult - calling things by their wrong names just to make Aidan mad. For some reason, Aidan is extremely disturbed by this last one.

So there's been a lot of noise here today, and it's not doing much in the way of soothing this splitting headache that I have. When Aidan screams, you know it. The neighbors know it. Everyone in flipping China knows it, for crying out loud. That kid has got one heck of a diaphragm.

So anyway, as far as getting Ethan to move on and just play his own play and leave his brothers alone, nothing was working. Nothing. Which, by the way, is not unusual, but that's a whole other blog post.

So Aidan shrieked. Again. Blew out every single window in every single house in a 5-block radius. Shattered my very last nerve.

I called them to me. Asked Ethan what in Hades was going on this time to make his brother scream so.

And he shuffled his feet for a minute and then said, "I was picking up Aidan's feet so he would fall down."

And I closed my eyes and took a deep breath while I decided what to say and what to do about this latest transgression, and in just that split second I was tackled and two skinny little arms were wrapped fiercely around my neck. And he yelled gleefully into my ear, "I told the TRUTH!!!" And he pulled back and looked into my face and he was positively beaming. "I was going to lie, but I stopped! And I told the truth to you!!"

Which is a breakthrough, to be sure, but then what? A) Mete out praise for the truth-telling? B) Discipline for the physical harassment? He knocked me completely and totally for a loop. He was SO excited. He was SO proud. You could practically see the little halo glowing there above his head. And I'm sure my utter bafflement was just as apparent.

I hate making important decisions on the fly.

In the end, I chose C) Both A and B. And I don't know if I balanced them right.


Jamie said...

I think you made the right decision! And I had to laugh at his enthusiasm about being honest. Maybe it's an age thing. This morning Ida came to me and said, "I hit John in the head with Piggy. And I did it on purpose."

Claire said...

At least he was honest, right? LoL! And I'm sorry, but I laughed about how thrilled he was that he was being honest.

It must be an age thing. Ty'Lain has started admitting when he hits Mathyn on purpose...for instance, if I hear Mathyn crying in their room and ask why he's crying, Ty'Lain will answer me, "Because me hit him Mommy."