I’ve started a bit of a tradition. Every night when I come home I greet all my boys with a kiss. The littlest ones are usually mesmerized by Wild Kratts, but I can generally get them to break eye contact with the TV for a quick smooch and a hello. I also seem to have taken on the persona of Chief Confessor.
The first thing they do is blurt out a summation of the day in terms of the latest behavioral improvement we’re working on. For Jacob, we’ve been working on managing emotions… for the last five years. Jake usually exclaims, “No tantrums! No incidents!” And of course I dole out significant praise.
Nate eagerly shares things like, “No accidents!” or “Behavior, Mama! I had behavior.” He’s missed the relevance of adjectives. Nate almost never has any incident reports to confess… though last week he had an altercation over a book with his buddy Logan, and Logan ended up with a bruise near his eye. Apparently neither kid would talk and Logan wouldn’t rat-out Nate; clearly he’s a keeper.
So yesterday I come home and the boys are watching Team Umizoomi. James says something like, “Jakey, are you going to tell Mama what happened?”
I brace myself for the worst. Did he misbehave at school? Over the last few months, the reports have been glowing— he’s really worked hard to calm himself down quickly anytime he feels frustrated or upset.
And Jake says, “Granddad caught a mouse at his house in the grotto. (This is the garage closet under the house where my dad generally keeps his hunting gear and other things that you shove into the earthen crawl space under your home over the course of 30 years.) He brought it today to show us. Nate put his finger inside its ear and touched its tail. Then I tried to touch it and it bit my finger. I got blood on my shirt.”
Yes, my mom and dad brought over a wild, possibly disease-carrying rodent into our house and let my kids touch it.
No… I did not see that coming.