Saturday, December 03, 2011
the new drew
A couple of weeks ago, Andrew woke up one morning a changed child. Brigham and I are thrilled--and terrified that he will wake up with the switch flipped again and revert back to the way he was.
At the beginning of the school year, I had to institute a mantra: "If you cannot do your duty, at least go floppy." This was in reference to the fact that Andrew would refuse to awaken, and then refuse to dress himself. Reasonable enough, right? I was willing to meet him in the middle: if only he would just not resist me when I dressed him and readied him for school. Many was the morning in which I would finally cram him into his uniform only to return to the room a few minutes later and find him naked. I was not in a good place during those weeks.
He now wakes up to his own alarm at 7am (parenting tip: giving them ownership of their own schedule in the form of a really cool alarm clock is a very effective strategy.) He dresses, brushes his teeth and then comes and gets me up. We meet downstairs where he has started preparing for breakfast (I have been leaving the cereal down low in hopes and dreams that this day might arrive). He cleans up his dishes and is in the car on time. When we get home from school, he immediately does his homework, while wearing his uniform-- to stay in the spirit of things, he more or less explained. He meticulously cleans his room each night and observes that "your room doesn't really look good until you have made up your bed." I feel like I am living in a dream.
But there are still shadows of his old self, too. The other day he was counting his money in his piggybank. "YOu know where I get all my money, mom?" "From doing your chores?" I ask, knowing that we really never established any sort of payment system.
"No," he told me. "I get it from careless people who leave it lying around."
Well, even if his behavior modification has come from some recognition that sloppiness yields getting taken advantage of, I will take it. I will not complain at all.