Monday, October 15, 2012

The Little Sinner!!

I've quickly learned that vests and overalls are just killer cute on babies.
   Oh man, guys. This stuff's getting real right about now. Wyatt clearly understands the words "no" and "no touch," and he is definitely aware that there are things he's not supposed to touch (like outlets and, ahem, candles, and me when I'm facebooking). But what's been pretty entertaining is watching him not touch those things.

   I'd like to start with a story, before I dive into this story. When I was in high school I volunteered at my church's 3rd and 4th grade Sunday School room. I did this because I am a truly wonderful person, inside and out, but that's not the point.

 There were these math toys to play with. I played with them every week, making designs like the following:

Important copyright information: My brother made this design a couple days ago, put it on facebook, and then I stole it. There, you can leave me alone now, Garrett.

     The designs are lots of fun to make, and also very easy to make. Unlike the shoddy work shown above, my designs were sure to have rotational symmetry and reflectional symmetry, so, yeah. You might not think of those shapes as a math toy, but they are because all toys are really math toys, so get over it.

   When I was volunteering at Sunday School, hogging these toys from the other kids, I would say very clearly and sternly: DO NOT TOUCH MY DESIGN. Again, they were about eight years old or so. What I found extremely interesting, and really it's always stuck with me, is that those kids would lay their heads down on the floor, stare at the shapes, and put their fingers as close to it as possible without touching it. They'd look at me, gauge my reaction, and move their fingers closer. As soon as they touched even a corner of a piece I would reprimand them, they'd back of, and then usually leave it alone. In fact, they often left at that point and played with some other volunteer who was actually fun.
   Those encounters happened several times. It's like two dynamics were at work: 1) They wanted to get as close to doing the bad thing as they possibly could without actually doing the bad thing, and 2) They wanted to test their limits. I knew if I let them touch the pieces ever so slightly, that'd turn into touching more pieces and then moving pieces and then probably doing drugs, so I had to draw the line.

   Story over. Now back to my story.
   Today I looked over and Wyatt was banging on the wall. He does this often, it makes him happy, and it's pretty fun. It didn't take long for him to see an outlet - the forbidden fruit. He stared at it longingly. He slowly moved his finger towards it. I don't know if he was aware that I was watching, but his finger just slid along the wall closer and closer. When it finally, eventually touched the corner of the outlet, I said "Wyatt, no touch" in my stern daddy voice (because, you know, drugs), and he looked at me and stopped, then smiled and hit something else. I'm on to you, I thought, don't try to distract me with your undeniable cuteness. I got back to work, and looked over about thirty seconds later. He was touching it again. I said "Wyatt no touch" again in an attempt to enforce both good behavior and good sentence structure. He had his moment of panic, looked at me and laughed, and basically said "hey dad let's play!!!" as he scampered off. Well, I couldn't let this slide, so I followed him and followed through on one of my well-documented, effective forms of discipline.

The smart, blurry little kid is going to be all kinds of trouble. Look out.

   What a little sinner!! He knew what he was doing and wanted to find all the ways he could to get away with it. He was testing his limits. This is one of the many areas where being a teacher will (hopefully) help me be a good teacher, because I have seen what happens when you let little things slide in terms of behavior and discipline. You end up with a class of freshmen girls that need to go to the bathroom every day because it's always their period. I don't want that in my house, for a lot of different reasons.
   Oh, I'm on to you kid.

This is on the back panel of some of Wy's
baby food: All Babies Begin Life 100% Pure ...
Feed Them Accordingly
. Oh please, what a load of crap.

My mood: I feel like I am exceptionally aware right now
Wyatt's mood: testing limits with a smile
Cara's mood: post-work-nappy
Listening to: Death Cab for Cutie.

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