As I enter the last weeks of pregnancy #3, I am deeply suspicious that certain crucial brain cells have begun a downward migration to support the cerebral development of our newest little one. It appears that the cells that are in charge of creativity, energy and general motor control are in highest demand. I’m hoping the loss is temporary but am preparing myself for the worst. I may be doomed to a future existence of walking into walls, spontaneous narcolepsy with an approximate onset of, oh, 2:03pm every afternoon and a black hole of a blog since I have no viable creative ideas.
I did, however, have one flash of brilliance today. I call it active behavioural management. Sounds impressive, right?
The philosophy is that who in their right mind sends a child to sit still as a consequence? You are storing up their energy for future delinquencies, practically guaranteeing unwanted behaviour in the next 5 minutes.
Today, when my oldest son was squirrely and not listening well, I muttered to my husband, “he has more energy than he knows what to do with.” (This was after we had just gotten home from the park and were unsuccessfully trying to extract ourselves from the car.) So. Tired. He was supposed to be tired, not us!
Just then, the one remaining creative neuron I have fired. “20 jumping jacks for not listening.” I pointed at the lawn. Off he went. And he came back with a glint in his eye and climbed in the front seat and proceeded to push buttons that we told him not to. More jumping jacks. This repeated itself a number of times. We managed to relocate ourselves to the front steps where we congratulated ourselves on our brilliance as our children, about 100 jumping jacks later, lay spread eagle and breathless on the lawn.
Maybe, just maybe, they’ll get too tired to argue or too tired to disobey. At the very least they are getting exercise. And I get to sit down for 20 seconds.