Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taking the Good with the Bad

Watching Brenden's personality develop has been totally hilarious and yet completely exhausting. There are days where he will do something so funny that he has Tim and I clutching our sides and crying. And then, within a few minutes, we have to save the dog from another brutal pounding, or grab Brenden away from the outlet. (The outlets have covers, but I have no doubt Brenden would figure out how to pull them out.) A few months ago I would have said that he didn't know any better, that he hadn't learned that what he was doing was wrong. However, his actions are showing me that he knows very well that what he is doing isn't right but is pushing the boundaries anyway.

For example, he will waddle up to Riley, his punching bag of choice lately, smack him on the nose, then look at me as if to say, "What are you going to do now, mom?" When I respond with, "No hitting the dog!" he runs away. We invested in a timeout mat this week and I have been using it daily. I will pick him up, place him on the mat, and for at least 30 seconds watch as he wails like I just told him he will have to stay there all day. I'm trying to teach him how to sign "sorry" and then I stand him up, give him a hug and a kiss, and lead him back to Riley to show him how to pet the dog. Brenden knows exactly how to pet a dog, and for a little while will do just that. He will even hug Riley, and try to bark at him, as if to say "let's play!" Then, out of nowhere, he looks at me. SMACK! "What are you going to do, mom?" And we repeat the process. "No." Run away. Timeout. Crying. "I'm sorry." Hugs and kisses. Lets try this again. On and on it goes, until Brenden gets tired of that game, and switches to something else, like the outlet. He knows better, but he'll walk slowly over to it, turn to look at me, reach out his arm behind him, and barely touch it. Where did he learn this? Back to the mat we go! When Tim gets home I hand the timeout duties over, at least a couple of times, because I'd rather not be the bad cop constantly. Even though it's necessary, making the rules, and then enforcing them, is no fun.

With all of these timeouts it seems like we wouldn't have time to do anything else. Not true! One of our favorite things to do right now is sing along with Brenden's Sesame Street car that he got for his birthday from Grandma and Grandpa Warehime. There is a button on the front that plays People In Your Neighborhood and Brenden LOVES it. He could be immersed in another toy, but when Tim or I start clapping and singing he runs over to push the button and then starts dancing, laughing and clapping. He gets so excited that he will fall against the chairs, like the joy of it it is too much for him. Once we get him started we have to be prepared to clap, sing and dance for at least another 15 minutes. Tim and I don't mind, seeing him so happy is totally worth having that song stuck our heads all night. I even found myself singing it when I woke up. But how could you ever say no to this? :)

Please forgive the singing. We are not experts. :) And I was clapping, so it's a bit shaky.


New Girl on Post said...

Ok...the thought of him looking at you and then running away really made me laugh.

I'm sure when I have my own child and they do this I won't think it's as funny, but as an outsider I have to say it's amusing.

Poor Riley though!

Heather said...

You may want to try removing Brenden from the situation altogether, if he's repeating the behavior he knows he shouldn't be doing. Maybe bring him into another room and bring out a toy he hasn't seen a awhile. Or if you have to, remove Riley to another room and don't allow Brenden access to him. Poor puppy!

We used to do that with Brenna when she was this age. Anthony usually shakes his finger and says No No before he does something naughty, so I have a chance to avert him ahead of time.

At least they're cute, right?!

Grant Goodale said...

Fantastic song. Is that on iTunes? :)

The Kellys said...

Melissa - I think it's funny that he runs away, too. He doesn't run screaming like I'm going to beat him up (which I obviously DON'T) he just runs away. I think maybe he thinks I might forget he did it. I know his attention span is darn short.

Heather - I've put Riley in a different room after it happens a bunch, but I hate to kick him out when he's not doing anything but laying there. Since we got him at the ASPCA at age 7 (Riley, not Brenden...hehe) he's a bit of a worrier and acts like we're leaving him. And now that I know Brenden KNOWS what he's doing is wrong I want him to learn that I won't back down. I guess I feel like moving Riley is giving into Brenden's mood. Maybe I'm wrong. :)

Grant - I'm sure it's on iTunes! If nothing else, at least its on youtube. :)

New Girl on Post said...

I am so sorry that I didn't see your question about the Snapfish album until you'd already gotten it fixed yourself. I'm glad they credited it to you though! I went there today and noticed they'd taken it off there even though they said it was extended until the 22nd. Let me know how yours turns out!

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