Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How imagination saved my son from a life of crime

I’m guessing 2.5 is the age kids really start using their imaginations. Actually, probably later as Monster is well ahead of the curve (chuckle). In all seriousness, Monster and I were having a couple of rough weeks. He had been getting some time outs at daycare – mostly for not listening – and evenings had been borderline nightmarish. He was fighting me at every turn. Recently, though (and by recently I mean the past 2 weeks or so), things have been looking up. Ever since he’s assigned everyone he knows a Muppet personality, he been an absolute dream.

Our evenings used to go like this: I would have to carry him kicking and screaming to the car because he wanted to run around in the street in front of the babysitter’s house. Then I would have to hold him down to strap him in his car seat because he would want to drive. I would have to carry him kicking and screaming into the house because he didn’t want to get out of the car. And then he’d hold on to my leg and drag me around while I was trying to make dinner unless I would turn the TV on immediately.

Now that he has adopted the Kermit the Frog personality, he’s been much easier to get along with. As long as I address him as Kermit or Kermie, he’s happy. He’s even happier if I use my Miss Piggie voice to do so. He plays nicely by himself while I make dinner (no need to turn the TV on – win!) and doesn’t throw a fit when it’s time to go take a bath or go to bed.

Every morning I would drag him (you guess it!) kicking and screaming out of the house to go to the babysitter’s but once she became Gonzo and her house became The Muppet Show, it’s been no problem. And while at Gonzo’s, he’s been less ornery and happier. As long as he gets to give everyone a hug and a kiss goodbye, he leaves nicely too.

Clearly his imagination has given him the tools he needs to exert his will without fighting with the rest of us.

Just last night, as he was going to sleep, I could hear him conversing with who-knows-who, saying, “I’m Kermit.”
“No, I’m Kermit.”
“I’m Fozzie Bear.”
“No, my dad’s Fozzie Bear.”
And then he was asleep, without fuss or fight.

So nice that he’s using his imagination for good, not evil. At least for now.