9/18/08

Failure to Communicate


The situation:

I have just found Benton hiding in the hallway, eyes round as saucers at being caught, chocolate and cookie crumbs on his chin. I see two Chips Ahoy clutched in his hand as he brings them from behind his back to cover his ears. Little Karis stands next to him, equally chocolaty. Quiet as a bribed accomplice should be, looking far more authentically innocent. I pry the cookies away from Benton causing hysteria on every level. (I let Karis keep hers. It wasn't her fault, after all). I send the boy to the couch for a time out while I ponder what to do and try to settle an unsettled Karis. Benton is still crying.

Here is the conversation that followed (italics are my thoughts):

Mom: Benton, why were you hiding in the hallway eating cookies?
Benton: (Through tears) Because I didn't want you to see me!
M: Why didn't you want Mommy to see you?
B: (Through tears) Because I didn't want you to take my cookies away and make me cry!!
M: OK, take a breath. We need to talk, OK. And it's hard to talk when you're crying. Why were you hiding? Think about it, son. Be introspective. Analyze your thoughts and feelings. You can do it, buddy? Why were you afraid Mommy would take the cookies away?
B: Why do you keep asking me why?!
M: Benton, I need to know what was going on in your heart when you took the cookies.
B: Oh.
M: What were you thinking about when you took the cookies and went to hide with them?
B: I was thinking like when I ate three donuts at church.

[Insert important parenthetical story here. A few weeks ago, one of the ladies at church kindly let me know that Benton had three donuts that morning. She just thought I'd want to know since I tend to be a donut Nazi (my words, not hers). As both my attention span and my memory are inconveniently short, I proceeded to forget all about it. When Benton woke up from his nap that Sunday afternoon, he bounded out of his room and without a "hi, Mom," announced, "I had three donuts at church today." Apparently his conscience was bothering him. Anyway, we had a long talk about being selfish and using self control.]

M: Breakthrough! Progress! Hurray! What happened when you ate three donuts at church?
B: I hid them (lifts his shirt) in my belly.
M: Why me?! Do you remember what we talked about when you did that.
B: (Brightens) Yes! You told me to use the remote control!!
M: Remote control. Remote contro.... SELF control, Benton!!

4 comments:

Kari Wright said...

Does he get a cookie for effort? And mommy too!

Alicia said...

Oh my goodness. I'm having a really hard time not busting out laughing, as I sit in my cubicle!! Sorry for laughing, but I can just see Karis' face standing behind him. She does like cookies. Wonder what she learned from that experience?!?! =) (Still laughing)

Grandma Sherri said...

Still laughing!! That remote control quote will follow him the rest of his life I'm sure!!

Cathy said...

I need to use my remote control sometimes too...more than I'd like to admit!