Well, ever since we came home from Aunt Jodi's house, Eli had been acting very, I dunno, spiteful. I couldn't put my finger on it. I couldn't figure out exactly what the deal was with him.
Until last night.
After yet another, shall we say, MOUTHY episode, I took him aside and spoke with him. I began telling him that I noticed a change in him since staying at Aunt Jodi's house. I told him that I could tell something was bothering him and that he was acting out in different ways, including inappropriately talking-back and being short tempered. I asked him why. NO response.
I asked him if he liked being at Aunt Jodi's house. He said yes. I asked him if he liked it there because of the toys. He said no. I asked him if he liked it there because of the food (she's a great cook!). He said no. I asked him if he liked it there because there was less arguing. He said yes. BINGO!
I asked him if he knew WHY that was. He shook his head no.
I then asked him what he did there. He said that he played toys, went out with Uncle Danny and picked up sticks on their property..... I stopped him and said, "No, what I mean is, HOW did you act there?" Looking up at me with a SMIRK he said, "I listened....." So, I said, "OH, so you listened at Aunt Jodi's? So, when she asked you to stop, you stopped? And when she asked you to do something, you did it?" He shook his head yes, albeit reluctantly, with an embarrassed smirk on his face.
I just looked at him with raised eyebrows and said, "WELL???"
It took him a few seconds to come up with this...
"So if I quit being bad, will you?"
HAHAHA! I just about died! But, I guess that is how a kid sees it, right? When he argues he is told he is misbehaving and being bad. So when I argue back he is seeing me as being 'bad', too!
Funny thing is that this morning when we were getting ready for school, he didn't want to find his gloves, etc, he wanted to do something HE wanted to do. So, I touched his shoulder and just looked at him with the same raised-eyebrow-look... He promptly quit what he was doing and went to collect his things for school.
Just before walking out the door to head to school, he said, "YOU WERE GOOD TODAY, MOMMY!" And I said, "So, were you, Eli, so were you!". He reached around my legs and gave me a hug, finally realizing that he is the one who can control the way he is treated by others; simply by changing his OWN actions and behavior. I guess we could all use a little reminder of that lesson.... "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you".
My insightful Eli....
Ain't he a cute 'wittle fella?