“All too easy”
Lately I have been feeling like Darth Vader a lot. I have discovered several techniques for manipulating my son that just seem to work a little too well.
The first one I mentioned a while ago. The easiest way to get my son to eat something is to make him think I’m going to eat it. I now use this method several times at every meal. After asking him to eat some of his food and not getting the response I was looking for, I’ll simply pick something up off his plate and slowly start putting it in my mouth. Before I can bite down on it he will quickly grab it out of my hand and start eating it immediately.
All too easy.
Another method of manipulation is competition. Recently Chandler has grown a real enthusiasm for winning. No…not the Charlie Sheen style of winning. The Michael Jordan style of winning. That’s right, Michael Jordan. Not Kobe. Not LeBron. Michael Jordan. Accept no substitutes.
To be honest, I’m not sure where he is getting his competitive streak from. While I myself am extremely competitive, and was raised in a competitive and sports oriented family, I really have not introduced the concept of competition to Chandler yet. Chandler tends to imitate everything I do, but he hasn’t seen me be truly competitive yet (Just wait until he’s old enough to really play one-on-one).
Either way, he’s become a very competitive little boy and loves racing to the tops of stairs, racing to see who can get in their car seat first, and pointing out who won and who lost. So last night when I was trying to convince him to brush his teeth, I decided to make a game of it. “Chandler, let’s have a teeth brushing contest. First person to stop brushing their teeth loses!” I grabbed my tooth brush, set our brushes up with toothpaste, and we both started brushing. He was so excited. I’d never seen him brush his teeth so well. I could actually hear the brush scrubbing his teeth. And when I felt like he had brushed long enough, I just stopped. “Oh! I couldn’t keep going any longer. Looks like you win!” I’m going to demand a rematch tonight.
All too easy.
As much as I love running around with my son playing swords, baseball, basketball, and other active games, probably the greatest game I have taught my son to play is “nap time.” That’s right folks, nap time. Even though real nap time is usually met with some tears and protests, Chandler loves to play pretend nap time. The other night, while Ashley was making dinner, Chandler and I grabbed his nap gear - blankets, pacifier, giraffes - and pretended to take naps. I’m not exaggerating when I say he laid there almost perfectly still, yet awake, for about 30 minutes. I didn’t exactly sleep, but I definitely got some rest and relaxation. I couldn’t believe he was being so quiet; so committed to the game. Finally at one point he looked up at me and said, “We can’t get up because it’s not time to get up yet.” I felt so guilty! He was only an hour or so away from his real bedtime. Was I robbing him of his playtime? Or was he really enjoying this?
Morals and ethics aside, now anytime I need to take a break, I can just say, “Chandler, want to play nap time?” and he usually plays along.
All too easy.