I was three years old, hair cut to my shoulders, blinged out in twin bunny barrettes, cast in plastic. I stood just at the corner of the brown flowered couch, shifting my weight from the right to the left, buzzing with pride, eyeing Mommy's fingers while she hooked a pin through my Geranimals t-shirt and fastened it with a smile.
I had earned a safety pin. The moment is seared in my memory.
The only problem is that my mom refutes the entire story and my dad just laughs that "You're nuts" sort of laugh when I bring it up. I think my mom's exact words are, "Why would I put a safety pin on you as a reward? It doesn't make sense!" (Something like that, but watch the comments and I'm sure she'll correct me if necessary.)
Between you and me, I'm 99% sure they just forgot about it. And true, it's totally weirdo, so maybe they're just too embarrassed to take credit?
All I know is, I was there, man. I wore that pin. It caught the light; glinted in my own brown eyes. The pin made me a better girl.
I've wracked my brain trying to find a solution that would work for Homeboy. He's doing fantastically well in so many ways. He's making all kinds of progress. But he's 4. And at least half-maniac. With the ego of Donald Trump and the rugged good looks of one Silas Martin.
Dude's a force.
A reward works better than punishment with Siley.
But it needs to be immediate (and de-e-e-efinitely not sugar-related.)
And he needs to be able to wear it around as a constant reminder of his capacity for awesomeness.
Stickers might seem like a more obvious choice, but only if you enjoy shredded stickers strewn about the house and stuck to the TV and toilet.
Pin on the dominant arm, as close to the wrist as possible to eliminate possibility of rogue unpinning.
Carry extras in your pocket.
Sometimes the pin-ee might be prone to saying things like, "I don't want any more pins" whilst doing something like log-rolling himself across the kitchen floor instead of putting on his socks. This is easily remedied by replying with as little enthusiasm as possible, "That's fine. No more pins."
Pin-ee will also, most definitely, be prone to the following: "Okay, I will obey!" and "Sure I can!"
So, where's my crown? Even a sash will do.
I promise to share it with my mom.
What's your secret ace-in-the-hole for wiley pre-schoolers?
I'm all ears. Literally.