photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com
I was laughing yesterday about a status that my cousin had posted on Facebook. It went a little something like this:
“It finally happened tonight. You see posts on facebook, hear people tell stories, but you never really believe it will happen to you, until it does. Tonight, our niece asked us, “What’s a cassette?”"
Most of the time, I don’t quite feel old enough to be a parent. Other times, like this one, I realize that 31 is NOT the new 18 and I have officially been “dated”.
I remember cassettes. I had about a dozen mixed tapes lining the bookshelf in my room. I used to sit on my bunk bed, writing in my Lisa Frank trapper keeper journal waiting patiently for my favorite song to come on the boom box radio so that I could quickly hit “RECORD”. Hours and hours would waste away while I waited and then. . .there it was!
I’d hit that record button and dance around my bedroom to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, all the while mimicking the dance moves I had seen on t.v. Over and over and over I could listen to it now that I had my own version on cassette. Ever so often, I’d catch myself getting the choreography all wrong. I’d hit “Pause. . .and Rewind”. Needless to say, the “moves” got better and better the second, third, and millionth time around. It was quite a scene. I wish you could all have been there. Really.
As many times as I’ve wished that parenthood had a “Pause. . .and Rewind” feature, it’s sad to say, I’ve had to scramble along without one. I would love a “do-over” every once in awhile when my temper and patience is less than stellar. It’s because of this, that I’ve decided to start giving my toddlers a chance to “Pause. . .and Rewind” on almost a daily basis. Let me set the stage for you:
It’s late in the Clark household. I have two sleepy, grumpy little trolls who have somehow prolonged their curfews by 30 minutes. We’ve had bath times, story times, snack times, and bedtime prayers. “It’s time for bed, boys. Let’s go.” As I start for the bedroom, one little stinker follows me without argument, blankie in hand, ready to claim his favorite spot on the bunk bed. My oldest little monster stays firmly planted on the couch, hands on his hips, eyebrows furrowed in determination and replies, “NO. IT’S NOT TIME FOR BED. I’M NOT GOING!” Good gracious, the will on this one. Normally, I would have broken out Cruella Deville right about now and given him “what-for” about who was in charge, but instead I say, “Pause. . . .and Rewind what just happened. Let’s try again. What did you want to say?” Somehow, this always makes him smile. “Um. . .”, he’ll say, realizing he gets a “do-over”, “I don’t want to go to bed yet.” Of course it doesn’t change my mind, but somehow it changes our moods and I eventually talk the little grouch into bed.
The main thing I’m learning in the whole “Pause. . .and Rewind” scenario is that it puts both of us back on the same team. I don’t want to compete with him for control every single step of the way. I also want him to understand that everyone needs second chances and that we all make mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, this hasn’t worked in every situation, but it’s really been a good way for me to show my toddlers how much power we have over our words. If you’ve got a “mouth” at home like my little guy, maybe you should give it a shot!
What are some experiments that you’ve tried with your little ones that have proven successful? I’d love to hear them!