What a peculiar morning last Monday was. LittleMan went to bed late after constructing a very detailed Lego police helicopter, with the help of his dad. He wanted to sleep with it. I started explaining to him way before bed time that he couldn't sleep with the copter because it would break. He kept nodding in agreement. But then when bed time came he just marched to bed with the copter in hand. He insisted on taking it with him. I knew it would break, and not five minutes after I kissed him good night did I hear his plea, "mom, help my helicopter is broken."
Ugh, why doesn't he just listen to me?
So I helped him fix it and convinced him to put it on a landing pad in the upper corner of the bed where it would be safer. Then he wanted to cover it with the blanket, so that it could be 'in the dark' with him. no! you are going to break the blades. ugh. I finally convinced him not to do that.
See, natural consequences never work with LittleMan. He'll keep making the same bad choice over and over and over again - he is very persistent. If I let him 'learn' through trial and error, he will freak out and start crying when the copter breaks all day long. Like last weekend, we went to a birthday party at park with a playground. There was a metal jungle gym in the shape of a space ship. He would climb to the very top and then slip his feet through the bars and hang. He'd swing himself back and forth trying to get a foothold to lower himself down. A couple times he even tried swinging one-handed. I saw him fall more than once. Ouch, right on his butt or side and hip. He would just get right up, brush himself off, and run back up to try again. Totally insane little monkey. Natural consequences have no effect on him.
I went back into his room after he had fallen asleep to check on the helicopter and put it somewhere safe. If he were to wake up to a broken helicopter, well that would be a bad way to wake up. Of course I lift the blanket to see it underneath, laying on top of his chest.
In the morning came the astounding LittleMan. He woke up ecstatic about his helicopter. He played with it as I made breakfast. Then he said, "here baby do you want to see my helicopter?" "Here, here, take it"
She took it. "Look, look mom, I'm sharing!"
I said, "That's good but she might break it, I don't know if you want her to hold it."
I was imagining LittleMan wailing when she broke it.
Sure enough a minute label there is a crash. "Oh no baby, you broke it."
and here is the amazing part. No screams. but instead he says, "It's ok we can fix it."
That floored me to hear those words coming so calmly and matter-a-factly from the boy with no tolerance for disharmony. Where did my kid go?