Yesterday morning, in the midst of yet another battle with my son before school, I told him that if he isn’t willing to try to have a better attitude towards me when I picked him up that day, that we were going to have problems. He looked me dead in the eye and warned “If you start to fight with me at school, YOU WILL BE SO EMBARRASSED.” He’s 5. But I wasn’t backing down so easily. I’d pretty much had enough of his mouth this week already, and for like, the past 3 weeks at least.
So, I told him that I could promise it wouldn’t be ME who gets embarrassed, and then I raised the ante a bit, when I let him know that not only did I want a fresh start after school, BUT if he didn’t get nice before he left, so we could show some love to each other before separating for the day, that I would pick him up from school later,
DRESSED. LIKE. THIS.
I gave him a taste of what I would look like, standing there in that outfit, while yelling his name as obnoxiously as possible, and then I even stepped it up, and pretended to “blow smoke in the faces of all the other children walking by…” (He knows I can’t stand smoking, at all, let alone around kids, but his disbelief had been easily suspended by my commitment to the role of Most Embarrassing Mother.)
WELL, WAS THAT THE MOST “APPROPRIATE” WAY TO HANDLE AN UNRULY KID BEFORE SCHOOL? MAYBE NOT. BUT IT WORKED.
While my son clearly thought my little performance threat was not only shocking but hilarious, it was just scary enough to get him out the door finally with Dad, just in case Mama IS actually that crazy. “YOU have the power to choose which ‘Mama’ shows up at after school today…” Omg, what a mind-fuck for the poor kid, but so great, and apparently pretty entertaining.
But the point is, we were laughing again. Our moods were immediately lighter and happier and there were kisses and hugs and shouts of “I love you!” versus screams and fighting and my baby boy yelling “I hate you!” in my face, leaving us both inevitably in tears, before stomping out the door begrudgingly, and away from me, for the next seven hours.
It helps that my son has the same warped sense of humor as I do. Or so says my husband.