Aiden turned 3-years-old two weeks ago. Woohoo! And he picked up a new less-than-appropriate behavior too. Boohoo. Is there a such thing as the "terrible threes"? Because someone should have really warned me about it.
All of a sudden, the kid sticks out his tongue and makes a spitting sound (I think that's what they call 'making raspberries', but I'm not quite sure).
Anyways... I. Can't. Stand. It. When. He. Does. That.
But hey...the joys of parenting.
The first time he did it was to the doorman of our apartment building. I was completely shocked because Aiden has a good relationship with our doorman and is normally nice to him. I was like, What on Earth?! Did that sound just come from my sweet baby boy?! I hate to admit this, but in my frenzy, when we got upstairs to our apartment, I invited Aiden to his time-out chair. And he went. Thing is, I didn't fully explain to him what the unacceptable behavior was so I'm pretty sure he was a tad-bit confused. Sigh.
He did it a few more time throughout the weekend, but nothing beats when we were in the elevator of our apartment building. To an old lady who was just tryna say "hey." I was shocked again. I mean, didn't I "take care" of this earlier in the weekend?
But even more than shocked, I was embarrassed because I didn't even have a chance to apologize to her before she looked at Aiden, looked at me, and then shook her head. Ouch, lady... that hurt!
There I stood in the elevator, frozen. There she stood in the elevator, shaking her head. And then there was Aiden in-between us, sticking his tongue out and making raspberries. Sigh. I was so embarrassed. Her looked shamed me. I walked out of the elevator covered in shame.
As Aiden and I walked out when we got to our floor, I was a gal of many thoughts: What was she thinking of me? Of young mothers in general? What was she thinking of Aiden? I didn't have the opportunity to tell her it's just a phase and he's actually a good kid. I was silenced.
When we got to our apartment, I scolded Aiden. "We don't do that when people say hello to us; go to the time-out chair." He probably was thinking, "huh?" But he went to the chair.
As he sat in time-out, I sat in the kitchen thinking, Okay, what just happened? Let's have a do-over and make this right. So I called him over and TALKED to the kid about it. Our conversation went like this:
Me: Aiden, when you do that to people who say "hi" to you, it hurts their feelings.
Aiden: (listening intently) okay.
Me: It makes them very sad, like this (frowning to show him a sad face)
Me: And it makes mommy really sad too.
Aiden: Mommy... I not gonna do it again. (Notice he didn't say "I'm not going to do it again...oh the language of a 3-year-old.)
But just like that, he stopped. At least for now. Since then, whenever we're in the elevator or outdoors, he says "hello" to people who greet him.
And all it took was a little talk. Not time-out.
But hey, I live and I learn.