I was going to title this post “god-light”. You know, the light that sometimes shines through the clouds and, some say, looks all biblical and stuff? I did a search on it, and found… well… very little that describes it as I want it described. Then I thought I’d use “A-Ha”. A search ensued, and I found more a-ha’s than I wanted (here, here, and here). By this time in the titling procedure, I have grown weary and a little bit pissy. You get what you get, I suppose.
What I wanted to say when I sat myself down here to write is that I had a moment today where the light showed through the clouds looking all biblical and stuff, and my little pea brain smiled. It was tiny. Itsy-bitsy. Quite small, really. I’m sharing it anyway. I will tell you the end first.
J. said to me “Oh, don’t worry. I learned my lesson with that.”
This is J. of the “I smell so good” marker debacle. J. doesn’t learn lessons because he most mightily does not want to. More than anything he wants to NOT learn, to NOT do, to NOT feel. Of course, no surprise here, I think he’s hilarious and great. I do quite often want to stomp on his smelly little feet and shake my finger in his impish little face and say “you have so much potential!!!” I resist (usually).
One day J. was especially focused on doing NOT. So focused that he had become downright defiant and was causing quite a ruckus. The best thing to do in this instance is to strategically ignore his behavior (if you want to know more about strategic ignoring, ask me. I’ll tell you. It’s one of my super powers. That, and over-parenthetical-izing and quotation-al-izing things.). I did. And then I did. And then I did. And then… I didn’t. I said (don’t judge me for this) “Dude, do I need to call your dad?”
BAD idea. I know. It just came out. His eyes lit up at the idea of his “NOT-ing” getting attention from me and his dad. He said, and read this carefully here,
“Whatever floats your boat.”
Whatever. Floats. Your. Boat. Duuuuude…. I was officially irritated. Truth be told, I was angry at myself for taking the bait. Lucky for me when I am irritated my senses constrict in the best possible way. I become calm, quiet, and methodical (or diabolical). I replied with “Okay.” My dad used to say “okay.” It usually meant I was done. D-O-N-E. This is how I imagine my “okay” sounding. He started to back track and I said “Consider my boat floated.” He looked at me, I looked at him.
Later that day J. asked me for something he didn’t really need. I said “Um, nope.” Soon after, he asked for something else. I said “Um, nope.” Later still, while the kiddos who had finished their work had some free time, he asked again. “Um, nope. See? This is me, floating my boat. ” He looked at me, I looked at him.
The next week, he started to ask for something. I gave him The Look and he completed his work before asking again. This happened a few times. I said, “I see I don’t need to float my boat?” He replied with an empathic “no” and a rushed explanation of how he hadn’t meant to be rude. I explained how it might be perceived as rude in some circumstances. He insisted it wasn’t. He looked at me, I looked at him.
Another week comes and goes with a few hints dropped here and there “Shall I float my boat?” “Oh, I see, I don’t need to float my boat?” Today, the god light/a-ha/whatev moment came. He said I needn’t float my boat any longer. He had learned his lesson. We nodded to each other.
Woo-Hoooo! I wonder how to turn this into a rule? Something about the boat-floating, or the okay-ing, or the strategic ignorer-ing, methinks.
Send me your ideas about how to turn this into one of Boss’s Rules, and I will send you a laminated copy of the entire set of rules so far! I will. I really will do it. I’ll even let you choose the number for the rule if you win. Maybe.