The kids have jobs to do every day. They aren't difficult. But they are required in order to keep your membership in the family...OK required is a bit harsh, but I'm sure all you moms out there know what I mean.
The jobs consist of:
Making your bed
And brushing your teeth
Those are everyday before school
EVERYDAY, and I mean, E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y. Beckham throws a tantrum about how he can't make his bed or he can't remember how to get dressed. And yet, everyday he makes it, by himself, just fine, and somehow manages to pull out from the dark abysmal crevasses of his memory how to clothe himself.
I am not talking about a little whining. This is a full, blown out, screaming, kicking, tantrum.
I walk away.
You would think by now he would "get" that he doesn't get rewarded for such behavior. And yet, it still happens.
I get him needing to be disappointed, frustrated about having to do jobs daily. I feel the same way. So I give him a minute to get it all out.
After that......The Timer.
Oh, the horror!
Not the Timer!!!!
I cannot even begin to tell you the torture the timer inflicts on that 4 year old's mentality! It's like someone has him by the hair and is dragging him down the hall.
It's not that he's in trouble, it's that he now has a limited amount of time to complete his tasks. If he chooses to wallow in his misery rather than get stuff done, he will get more jobs to do. He knows this and has been the receiver of many additional jobs because of it.
What usually happens is another 5 minutes of wailing and gnashing of teeth followed by break neck speed of job doing. Seriously, he can get everything done in 5 minutes if that timer is getting close to the end.
It frustrates me to no end that he can complete things that quickly and yet it takes SOOOOOOO long to get past the complaining.
I've tried having heart to hearts about this with him after he has settled down and finished his jobs.
This is the conversation from this morning, after a particularly fine spectacle of a royal tantrum again closely followed by monumental speeds to beat the timer.
Me: Do you enjoy whining everyday?
Me: I don't like when it happens either. Does it take you longer or shorter to get your jobs done when you whine?
Me: Is that what you...
B: Yeah, but do you love me?
Me: Yes. But the point is I do not....
B: But, you still love me?
Me: I always love you, but I do not like when you....
B: I love you too. Bye!
And off he runs.
It's like he knows he can be horrible and since I'll still love him, he's cool with me getting a bit angry. Totally worth it to him.
Someone please tell me this is a phase.