Friday, July 29, 2005
Well, we've hit another hurdle. Chago's been biting Saia pretty regularly now for a couple of weeks. Timeouts and scoldings aren't working anymore, so we've resorted to animal deprivation. That is, we've started taking away his favorite animals (stuffed, plastic, etc) and throwing them in the "trash" (really just into a large box in the kitchen, but they don't see that part). He's lost 3 animals so far and it really didn't seem to be changing things for the better. So, we began offering them a sticker to put on the calendar for every day they were good (i.e., no fighting, no time-outs, and generally listening to Mema all day long). Once they received 3 stickers, I would make a special phone call to the garbage man (with whom I'm on very close terms, apparently -- "please, Mama, please please call the garbage man") and ask him to bring back one animal (or doll -- as Saia also "lost" a few back in January), as appropriate. Both received stickers on Monday. Saia got two more for Tuesday and Wednesday, so she got back Juana, a doll her Grammie gave her (and Mommy named) for her 1st birthday. She was thrilled. Chago asked if he could hug Juana since he couldn't have his animals back. [yes, it broke my heart] But yesterday he finally got his second sticker, so this morning we all really encouraged him to be good today, so that he could get his third sticker and choose which animal he wanted back. "Chago be good, Mama," he reassured me. "Alright, son. You can do it. I know you can," I said. "Then Chago has 3 stickers," he showed me on his fingers, "and Chago get 3 animals back." "Um...no, son, you'll only get one animal for 3 stickers." He wrinkled his eyebrows and stared up at me completely confused. "But Chago get three stickers, Mama. Chago get Sheer-khan, Mufasa, and California Condor." And I'm looking at him, totally appreciating his logic, and amazed that this little man is negotiating so strongly for what he believes is right, prouder than I've ever been because he's trying to understand and, more importantly, get me to understand what fairness is --- when I realize, 'this little twerp manipulates me EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!'