Little boy’s spoon fell to the floor while he was eating his breakfast. He looked at me and asked if I’d pick it up. “No way, Jose” I replied. He asked me again using a please and a “will you” and sweet little voice. I laughed and again said I would not and then demonstrated that he was much closer than I was to the spoon by reaching forward from my spot on the sofa. He laughed.
But he still did not get his spoon.
He whined that he needed help and then turned to his dad. His dad pretty much did everything I did, adding something to the effect, “Oh, I know this is something you can do”.
Is there any doubt at all that our sharp little boy can get off his chair and pick up his spoon and get back in his chair? Ummmm. No.
So dad and I proceeded on with our conversation and then Dad began putting on his jacket to head out. Little boy was now whining and oh-so-weak-and-unable. He sat in his chair facing his cereal bowl refusing to get the spoon himself. When we did say anything, he quietly said, “I don’t want to”.
“I don’t want to.”
How the heck does one teach a kid that sometimes we want to do things more than we don’t want to do them? I did not want to do the dishes last night, but I did and really they did not take that long and it was SO Much Better once they were done. I said something to little boy about maybe he wants to get the spoon to eat more than he wants to not get the spoon.
No reaction other than another whine and slump of the body.
Husband put on his hat and little boy pumped up the volume of his distress with a much louder, “I don’t want to.”
Husband and I exchanged looks – this could be a long morning for those at home (me).
I smiled at little boy and said, “I understand you don’t want to. Seems like you can sit there and be miserable or solve the problem. Which do you want to do?” fully excepting more whines and cries of distress.
“Solve the problem” he said is a quiet little voice.
Husband and I stopped breathing and exchanged very subtle eye contact and smiles of shock from across the room as little boy got off his chair, picked up his spoon, got back in his chair and resumed eating.
If only all problems could be solved so easily.