Knock It Off!
One of my favorite things happened Wednesday while Charlie and I were in the check-out line at our local Walgreens.
He said a phrase a couple of times that he's been saying on and off. It's sounded to me like "buckle up" as in "seatbelt." Seeing how much time we spend in the car, Charlie says "buckle up" plenty and hears it said too, and the phrase that he was uttering just didn't have that initial /b/ and the "uh" sound.
Also, Charlie said the phrase with a particular smile which means "this was something that bothered you and me a lot in the past but look ma, it doesn't bother me now and I'm going to say it to show you that I can handle it now!" He's never had this particular, how to put it, "relationship" with the phrase "buckle up." Once Charlie graduated out of the booster seat, he has been (except for a brief period when I bought a seatbelt lock that my backseat Houdini undid in 5 seconds flat) very good about wearing his seatbelt. In fact, Charlie regularly tells Jim and me to get our seatbelts on.
So I was listening to Charlie carefully last night in the check-out line. We were there to make the exciting purchase of a liquid soap dispenser, Charlie's teacher having noted that he's doing a (not unexpectedly) perfunctory job of tapping the bar soap when "washing" his hands. Charlie had also selected a box of crackers and a drink and the cashier was ringing up about 17 foil-wrapped Christmas candies for the woman in front of us, and hawking 20 Walgreen's brand batteries for $5.99. Charlie said the three-syllable phrase a couple more times, with an ear-to-ear grin. And then I had the aha! moment.
"Knock it off! Knock it off!"
Yes I have said that to Charlie. In particular, I've said it to him in a moment of high frustration when he's been really upset, knocking his head and numerous other things around and being in a state of general high and deep unhappiness. I've said it when I've had that feeling, maybe this is the time this just isn't going to end, and I've said it in a tone of voice that says, oh come on Charlie, you know better than to do this. I can't say that saying this phrase has worked as far as stopping, preventing, etc. any "behaviors." But it's clearly stuck in Charlie's mind. I'll posit that his saying the phrase to me, with that grin-smile, and after a bit of a tense moment in the car when he told me over and over "I want to eat, I want something to eat" and did not want to go to any grocery stores, was possibly a way of telling me "I had that feeling of wanting to get really upset in a head knocking kind of way but see I didn't and now I'm getting my soda and some snacks."
Snacks, that is, that weren't of the healthiest sort. Once we were home, Charlie munched them with a side of carrot sticks served up by me, and without resistance, or complaints.
When I'd picked him up at school (third "great day" in a row), his teacher had noted to me that he's not simply been talking more, but expressing his needs and wants. In particular, she mentioned that she'd kept in mind our sense that Charlie doesn't always mean "no" when he says "no"; that, sometimes, he tells her "no" about wanting something or wanting to do something, and she waits a minute and then he says "yes, " and takes whatever the item was or does it, without a problem.
Am kind of thinking there's some good communicating going on.