Sunday, May 15, 2011

What Happened When The Gingerbread Man Stopped For An Empathy Filled Conversation


Whew!

Done and done.  We are moved out and moved in and are now sick of moving. 

Now comes the challenge of re-establishing a routine.  But that is the easy part, and usually just comes naturally.

Kicking the television habit the children developed while we were moving may be slightly more difficult.  I think they reached their quota for the year in two weeks; because the television can sometimes be an excellent baby sitter.  Especially when you don't want the kids getting into things.  And now I feel all kinds of guilty and dirty.  I may need a shower to get it off me.

Sigh.

Today was the start of the detox.  The television addict rehab if you will.  After Church Keith's grandfather offered to take him downstairs and watch the Iron Man cartoon with him.  Keith got very excited and it made me sad because I knew I would have to be the bad guy.

"No more TV, Keith.  You have had enough.  Why don't you go play with your toys?"  I said firmly.

And then the tantrum began.

"I don't want to play with my toys!  They are boring.  I don't want them anymore!  I just want to watch shows with Grandpa!"  little stomps and giant tears accompanied every word.  He ran into the living room and flung himself onto the couch, blatantly turning his back to me and ignoring all suggestions or words of comfort I could think to give him.

I was so sad for him, but knowing that I was making the right decision, I wanted to alleviate his disappointment.  Detox is hard.  I found a marshmallow gingerbread man and went over to converse with him.  It went something like this:

Keith:  Sob sob sob sob kick sob kick sneeze.

Marshmallow Gingerbread Man:  Keithy, why are you crying?

Keith talking directly to the little treat in my hand and not even acknowledging my presence:  Because my mom and dad wont let me watch the Iron Man cartoon.

Marshmallow Gingerbread Man:  Why not?

Keith: Because they said I had enough tv.

Marshmallow Gingerbread Man:  Have you had enough?

Keith:  Well, no.  Because I just want to watch it. {dramatic pause} and now I am going to eat you!

And with that, he grabbed the little man out of my hand and popped him into his mouth.  Of course the little Marshmallow Gingerbread Man began screaming. The more Keith chewed, the more muffled his cries were.  And so, the demise of the little marshmallow Gingerbread Man was the cause of smiles and good feeling reinstated in my little family.
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