C goes to pre-school a couple days each week. This is primarily because we thought that he needed to learn how to act among other kids when his parents weren’t around. When we went looking at pre-schools, however, we discovered that they are primarily all run by churches and religious organizations. I’ll admit that this makes me a little nervous. I’d much rather the school systems left the religious teachings up to the parents.
The one we settled on has worked out well. Aside from regular trips to the office, C seems to be doing well. He has lots of friends and enjoys singing the songs. It’s that second part that is causing trouble.
The other day, C was Being Bad. We were putting the Christmas tree up, and he decided to spread the tinsel all around the living room. We set him to picking it all up, and he was doing everything except picking it up. At a certain point you have to lose your temper. Let me rephrase: at a certain point, I always lose my temper.
Getting in his face, I said very intently “Listen to me. You have to pick all that up. No playing, no distractions, nothing but picking it up. Do you hear me?”
He looked me straight in the eye and in a very soft voice sang “Jesus loves me, yes he does. Jesus loves me…”
I somehow got through that without laughing, but I’m not great at bluffing. I could see that he knew he’d scored.
Last night, I was watching them while J was out and C got in trouble again. Off he went to time-out. After just a couple seconds, I could hear his new favorite song “Jesus loves me, yes he does…”
Before I could catch him, N went running over to play with his big brother, saying “Time-out, time-out!” I started to drag him away, but he got so upset that I gave in. C sat there singing through the whole time-out while N watched.
Now I’m in trouble. N thinks time out is play-time, and C has started invoking Jesus whenever he’s being punished. I’m worried that one of these days I’m going to find myself saying “he can’t help you now” – and that would be bad.
Really, really bad.