Family Weekend Tinkering
I could have killed both of them but instead I took the win. Mike came home from work travel and took Ax to school yesterday. When it was time for Ax to get dressed Mike said, “Ok, Ax, time to get dressed.” Ax popped up immediately from what he was doing, and with martial arts precision, ran to his room, dressed, and ran back to the front door, where he stood at attention patiently waiting for Mike to escort him out. Truth.
There was no whining, no argument, no questioning about the weather and if he should wear shorts or pants or a t-shirt or longsleeve, no debating, no pretending to not be able to find shoes, no returning to the room to get “one more thing for school.” Just bam! Asked and answered. Done and done. Well alrighty then.
The same bizarre (relative) efficiencies happened at bedtime too. Now I will say there were multiple variables in effect, more than just Mike being home. I tried out an expanded riff on the whole conscious/true self communicating thing, plus I set an alarm for when TV time would be done.
“Ax,” I said, before we put the TV on, “it’s already a little late and we won’t have time to watch this whole movie tonight. Do you want to watch part of this movie tonight and part tomorrow or save it for a time when we can watch all of it?”
“Ummm,” he began as he weighed the options, “I think we should watch half of it tonight and half of it in the morning.”
“Ok,” I said, “I’m going to set a timer then so that we know when it’s time to turn it off. Here, look at my phone,” and I showed him my phone, “I’m setting the timer for 8 o’clock, which is late, but it’s a weekend so we’re staying up a little late. When it goes off we will turn off the tv and still have time for books.”
“Ok,” he said.
And we watched the movie and then the timer went off and Mike and Ax acted like nothing had happened, nothing at all, so I sing-songed, “Ok guys, that’s the timer. Time to turn off the show.” And nothing happened again so I’ll admit I pressed snooze and went and cleared some dishes, which were not going to clear themselves.
Before the snooze ran out I called from the kitchen, “Ok guys, it’s time to turn off the tv!” Nothing. I took the remote, pointed it at the tv, and turned it off myself.
“Heyyyy,” whined Ax, returning to life.
“Ax we agreed to turn off the tv when the timer goes off and it’s already been more than that.”
“But I want to finish my popcorn.”
“Ok you can finish your popcorn in bed while we read stories.”
“Ok.” And he got up and proceeded toward bed, with no pouting, whining, complaining.
The point is, it wasn’t a 100% hassle-free tv extraction, but the fact that I was able to turn off the tv and get him towards bed without major protest and upset was a win. I’m gonna keep going.