Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You don't have to want to

My wise friend Craig gave me this line to use with the sizzler. I've been using it everyday since he shared this amazing bit of parenting advice at our Valentine's dinner.
When it's time for his "must do's" I often hear "I don't want to!" And now I have the perfect response:
"You don't have to want to!" I say as I smile my most loving, patient smile. "You just need to do it" as I continue to gaze at my awesome sizzler.
He doesn't usually respond with the same loving, patient smile and a resounding "ok mom!"
I get one of the following responses:
  • "Nooooooo!" As he flops on the floor
  • "Can I play angry birds?" Uh, no
  • "I have to go to the bathroom" as he grabs he Lego ideas book and heads to the toilet and spends forever in there
  • "What's your favorite deep sea creature?" Trying to distract me
  • Or my favorite, "huggie" as he runs at me and gives me a super duper bear bug (kinda hard to resist)
Sizzlers are experts at avoiding work, especially if they have to write. Oh how my sizzler hates to write. He has convinced himself that he can't, that it's too hard, that something really bad will happen. But, he is getting better.
I have to remind myself that he is not torturing me on purpose, although sometimes it certainly feels like that.
There is hope though. Here and there I am getting the "ok" response and he gets going on what I asked him to do. When he first starting doing it I was a bit in shock. I had to hide my dropped jaw and surprised look. Oh, so he can do it! I was told not to fall into the trap of thinking that just because he did it once he can do it again.
Sizzlers are regularly irregular. You can't bank on anything. Every day is new and exciting, heck, from moment to moment I hardly know what to expect. Things can be going so well and then bam! He's upset and convinced he can't do something. It is a bit of a roller coaster ride. Weeeeee.......
On the flip side, my sizzler is the most loving and sensitive boy. As we were reading our Zoology book about pinnipeds this morning he got really upset. He was reading about the fur trade and how many seals were killed for their pelts. He could not finish the paragraph. He was angry. He was feeling very deeply about this so I finished the paragraph for him and told him how I see so much empathy in him for animals. That someday he will do great work and I wouldn't be surprised it if involved helping animals. His response:
"I'm going to be an ocean policeman!"
Awesome. Can't wait.


  1. We must get these boys together and have some sizzlin' fun!
    Bless you sweet mama :)