Jul 30 2007

The Turn-Around

Published by at 11:42 am under amy's head,daily,kids

Today, the cleaning ladies come.

So yesterday, we had to clean up the house.

After we finished putting the gazillion toys away and straightening up for the cleaning ladies, I decided to rearrange the family room. After we moved the chair and couch, all the lost lego wheels and baby doll bottles were discovered underneath their depths and were returned to their rightful homes, we broke out the vacuum and vacuumed up all the accumulated grime before moving the furniture to their final homes.

So the furniture got moved, and everything was settled, and we were sitting on the couch resting from our labors, when Ethan, in his poking around of the vacuum cleaner, unlatched the barrel that holds the dirt, and emptied it all over the family room floor. Mine and James’ let out an indignant, “ETHAN!!!” which was followed up in our heads with, “What the &$%* are you doing?!”

Sometimes Ethan will instantly say, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” before we can even get any exclamation out, as if he’s trying to pre-empt anything we might say. But this time, he pulled the Turn-Around. Out come the grumpy face, the hands went straight to the hips, and he turned to us and said, “WELL! You guys shouldn’t keep so much DIRT IN THERE!”

It was comical really. I mean, hello! Of course! We shouldn’t KEEP DIRT IN THE VACUUM how silly of us! Obviously, this is our fault, and we should apologize for the outburst. HA!

This, unfortunately isn’t an uncommon occurence.. The Turn-Around, I mean, not the emptying out of the vacuum all over the floor. He will often try to turn things around to get out of something he has done, and this is probably because James and I both are more than willing to admit that something could have been our fault.

The little smarty pants obviously is on to something with this Turn-Around thing. It was just the ridiculousness of his claim that made me realize this defense mechanism he had been honing all this time.

So, the anger of the mess was quickly overcome at the comedy of the fact that Ethan thinking the dirt all over the floor was OUR fault, that I decided we needed to turn this sort of thing around. We need to turn around the Turn-Around, if you will!

He was about 80% in Grump Defensive Mode, which made it more difficult, but I started to tell him that when you do something wrong, or have an accident, the better thing to do is to apologize, and then see what you can do to make it right. He stalked off in the middle of it, and then came back just to stick his face RIGHT in mine, which is what he does when he’s mad at you. I pointed out that I wasn’t angry, and I just wanted to talk, and then continued. I told him that the right thing to do when you’ve made a mistake, the manly thing to do, is to admit it, and then try to make it right.

He was resistant, initially, but after I prodded him a bit, and said, “How can you make this mistake right? What happened? [I made a mess on the floor] How can you get rid of the mess? [VACUUM IT UP!]” Then, he got pretty excited, because the thing that got him into this mess in the first place, was screwing around in the vacuum, which he LOVES to do, will now get him out of it. He pulled out the handle attachment and started vacuuming up all the mess, and then when most of it was sucked up, he vacuumed the actual floor. It was very cute.

We’ll have to see if the lesson behind it stuck at all, or he will just remember the fun vacuuming part. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for the Turn-Around and try to follow through on the “Be a Man” initiative.

One response so far

One Response to “The Turn-Around”

  1. Vandaon 30 Jul 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Nice one! LOL I remember that with my kids, back in the day. And of course the grankids used to do that when they were younger, umm back in the day.