Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Four Year Old's Quest

Yes, yes, isn't he cute? Don't you just love that smile? If you pick him up, he just melts into your shoulder and hugs you back. And his belly laugh, I love that sound! But don't be fooled. I have come to realize that Ryan has a quest - to take over the world. He is starting small, but his sphere of influence is slowly getting wider. Here's his plan [using the voice of Ryan]:1. Smile like an adorable child and laugh and giggle appropriately. Then when least expected, inflict some physical harm. Hitting someone on the head with a book works. An elbow in the solar plexus is another good trick. Or once in a while, a bite in the shoulder is a good trick. Also, don't be afraid to pick a weapon of choice.  Nerf dart guns are one option.  But these outbursts let the people in your sphere of influence know that you are a bit dangerous. But you can't use violence all the time, because then you end up in time out.

2. If however you do end up in time out, try this trick: Cry like you are completely innocent and shocked that anyone could punish sweet, little you. Try to get so upset you hyperventilate. This trick doesn't usually work with the parents - but works great with babysitters, friends of the family and sometimes at school. If you are trying it with your parents, it will probably play out like this:
Mom: Ryan, please pick up these books.
Ryan: No. [Spoken matter-of-factly]
Mom: Ryan, please come here.
Ryan: [Walk away or continue doing whatever it is you are doing]Mom: Ryan, you have a choice, either pick up the books now, or go to time out and pick up the books after time out. It's your choice.
Ryan: [keep ignoring]
Mom: So, you're choosing time out now?Ryan: YeaRyan: [Go to time out, sob hysterically]
Mom: [Wait the full 4 minutes] Ok, let's go pick up the books [take him by the hand and lead him to the books.]Ryan: [Pick up one book then walk away]
Repeat entire sequence 2 or 3 times hoping to wear out mom. 

Finally give in when you realize that she is more stubborn. She might have one the battle, but believe that you will win the war.
3. Another way to wear your parents out is to get out of bed eight or nine times a night when they put you down for bed. It's even better if you really are tired, but still get up. Interrupting their evening time alone is great fun! Also, wake up at 2 am, turn your lights on and start saying, "Hi". Another good trick is to go into your brothers room at 3 am and start waking him up.

4. When at school, act cute and wrap everyone around your pinky finger. Then slowly add the defiant behavior. Start small - maybe wiggling during circle time. Each day for a week add something new. Maybe saying "No" all the time in therapy. Then lay off the annoying behavior for a day or two. Just when they think "Sweet Ryan" is back, add some more defiance. Refuse to nap. Start hitting. And go limp like a jellyfish when they want you to walk. Do this for a week or two. Then once again, take a break from the annoying-ness. Repeat cycle and expect Mom to be called for a parent conference.

5. Also at school, try to climb everything in sight, fall a lot, and shove your entire lunch in your mouth at once. If you can manage, have a few seizures. Just make sure that the three grown adults in your classroom are watching every move you make. That's when you know you have them under your thumb.

6. After you've mastered school, start working on the other adults in your life. For example, in the church nursery, be adorable! Be cute! Play nicely with the kids! After this becomes your norm, start introducing the climbing - scale a few walls, get on top of the toy refrigerator. Take other kids' toys. Bring it on... Then, suddenly, switch to cute Ryan again.

7. Don't forget your allies. Namely your brother. Get him to do your dirty work... If you want the adults within your sphere of influence to be annoyed, but you don't want to do, get your brother to do something wrong. A few ideas include: have your brother soil his pants, get your brother to climb to the top of the TV Armoire, start wrestling with your brother -but make it look like it is his fault, or have your brother talk non-stop about the bus and Car Movies. The important thing here is that everyone needs a side-kick. You are the alpha, he can be your minnion.
8. When around your parent's friends, be adorable and compliant. Then when your parents complain about what a terrorist you are, no one will believe them. This works well with the Diefenbachs!
9. After alternately charming and being a "bugger" start expanding your sphere of influence. For example, while at a neurology appointment, if the doctor asks you to do something, smile at him and then sweetly say, "No." and go sit down. He'll think you're cute, but your mom will still make you stack the blocks or whatever it is he wants you to do.

10. This pattern will continue to expand and play out the alternate sweet/bugger behavior everywhere you go.

Here are some pointers:
ALWAYS smile sweetly.
ALWAYS make it look like the adult is being the rotten one.
Remember, when they are flustered, you're winning!
When in the car, scream in a fun, but high pitched way.
Don't forget your side-kick.
You have to have moments of sweetness, perhaps hug your mom, sit with your dad, or behave for an hour.
If all else fails, start having a seizure or do a big-time fall and you can get them under your thumb in a blink of an eye.
Hope this helps! Love,

1 comment:

Prachar family said...

Thanks for the abdominal workout as I laughed through your post! As always, you crack me up! He definitely has the cute thing down COLD! Love his advice...making sure my kids NEVER get hold of this!