It’s All About the Spitting

He was pouting, lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling.  Seven going on seventeen.

You see, the world was coming to an end: we, his horrible parents, were practically ruining his life by insisting that there was only time for a quick shower before bed, rather than the preferred bath.   Oh, the horror!

His younger brother was already in the shower, happy as a little clam, but I could not figure out how to get this boy in there.  At a loss, I used one of my favorite stalling tactics.

“You’re pretty angry about this shower thing, huh?” I asked, sitting next to him.  “Yeah,” he said, looking at me, his face stony.  “Hmm.  On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being not mad at all and 5 being the maddest you’ve ever been, where would you say this falls?”  He considered for a moment and then answered, “3.”

“Okay.”  I thought for a minute.  “What would we have to do to get that down to a 2?”  After a while, he said, “You do it with me.”  Bingo.  Easy.  “Sure, Daddy’s helping Lyle so I can help you with yours.  That’s fine.”  He started to relax.  “Now.  Can we get it down to a 1?”  He couldn’t think of anything.

After a long while and many suggestions, including him wearing a swimsuit and goggles, me doing a crazy song and dance routine (I actually did offer this), or playing his favorite song on the cd player while he showers, we were still at a 2 and Lyle was done.  It was time, so I had to come up with something good.

I looked at him seriously.  “I think I’ve got it.  How about if you brush your teeth in the shower and I’ll let you spit?”  He stared.  “I can spit IN THE SHOWER??”  I had him.  “Yup, you can.”

He jumped off the bed and dashed into the bathroom, shouting,  “YES!!!  I can’t believe Mommy’s letting me spit in the shower!!”

A few people, including my mother, told me after I had Lyle that they’d always visualized me only having boys.  I’m beginning to understand that.

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14 responses to “It’s All About the Spitting

  1. Now I really want to be your neighbor. Is that condo still for sale?

  2. GP can come spit in our shower any old time. 😉

    Thing is, when you’re kind of an uptight parent, it doesn’t take much to get a LOT of credit with your kids. Let that be a lesson to you all.

  3. I love it! love it! My 2.5yo would adore you! Humor is always at the top of my bag o’ tricks.

  4. Now THAT, my dear, is some quality-a$$ parenting. Stroke of genius.

  5. What a great solution!!! I wish I had your creativity for dealing with these little moments…….

  6. Hilarious! I have on once or twice told them they could have a snack in the bath just to get them in the tub. I’ll have to keep this in mind. I love your 1-5 idea and trying to get a better score. Unfortunately, this would not work with one my stubborn boys, but that spitting thing might get me somewhere.

  7. You are a brilliant parent.

  8. Gotta agree with Susan here; that’s some SERIOUS QAP!! Way to go.

  9. Hilarious. I know I often write that word in the comment section of many of your posts, but really now. 🙂 As usual, I will be trying these techniques at home!!

  10. You are quite the clever mom!

  11. WHY? WHY? did you move?

  12. Thanks for visiting me and introducing me to your blog. Spit-sational approach to the shower meltdown. Can’t wait to see what other tricks you have up your sleeve.

  13. My kids have finally been won over to taking showers… because they realized they can pee in there. oh, no …

  14. I will have to try this the next time T. gets bent out shape that he he doesn’t have time for a bath.

    Occasionally I let him have a Fruit Bath …… what’s that you say? Well, that’s when you get to play in the tub (no washing) but have to eat fruit while you’re playing.

    Whatever it takes, right?!

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