Friday, December 5, 2008

The Gingerbread House

It looks like they're all getting along so nicely and working together so well, doesn't it? For the most part, they were. But, then there was Joshua.

Mostly I'm blogging about this just for the sake of preserving it for all posterity, so that when Joshua grows up and has a child one day, and that child has a smart aleck mouth and always wants the last word, I can pull this out and remind Joshua that what goes around, comes around. (I feel the need to state, for those of you who don't know Josh very well, that he is, for the most part, a very well-behaved and compliant child. He rarely breaks a rule and often double-checks with me about whether it is okay to do something if he is unsure. I never have to ask if he's gotten in trouble at school, because I know that it's about as likely to happen as pigs flying. But, at home . . . let's just say he inherited a smart mouth and an inclination toward complaint from someone.)

So, we started on the gingerbread house with lots of enthusiasm and excitement. It didn't take long, however, before expressions of delight turn to cries of complaint. "She's not letting me put any of those on . . . I can't reach . . . he's got more candies than I do . . . I wanted to do that part . . ." Fill in the rest with any number of whines and complaints, and you've got Josh nailed.

So, about halfway through the decorating, I got a phone call from David. Since the kids did their usual "ratchet it up a couple of notches when mom's on the phone" routine, I told them that no one was allowed to touch the gingerbread house or put any candies on it at all until I was off the phone. When I hung up the phone, one of the kids felt the need to point out to me that Joshua had put a candy on after I said not to. After reminding that child that a better approach would have been to gently remind Joshua to obey instead of tattling, I put Josh in time-out for disobeying. I didn't intend it to be a long drawn-out big deal - just a short time away from the fun of decorating the gingerbread house.

In his usual woe-is-me manner, he suffered less than patiently through his time-out, but even then, I wasn't going to make a big deal. I called him over to me after a few minutes and asked if he was ready to obey and have a good attitude instead of complaining and whining. His response? I kid you not, this is what he said: "Are YOU ready to stop whining about me whining?"

" "

Those empty quotation marks would be me, speechless. Needless to say, this gingerbread house will be remembered as one decorated primarily by children other than Joshua. His afternoon was not a fun one after that. If only I could figure out where he got such a smart mouth from.

(Mom, you'll appreciate this: When I was talking to him afterward about how none of this was the fault of the person who tattled on him for disobeying, but his own fault for making wrong choices, mostly to talk disrespectfully to me, he said, "I bet you used to say things like that to Gaga when you were a kid." Never, right?)


Katherine Maxey said...

cute! did you follow a kit or make it up yourself? I've been wanting to do one with my two...

Theresa Garcia said...

It's moments like that where you are either speechless or burst out laughing. Kudos for remaining speechless.

beck'sthree said...

Kat, I used a Wilton kit. It was super easy . . . even for me.

Jenn said...

I have had those moments - where you can just feel your brain sputtering, your mouth is open but no sound comes out because it isn't receiving any coherent messages from your brain because all your brain can think is "surely, this child didn't just say/do that". Yep, been there. :)

Michelle said...

Wait, was that your Joshua or my Tyler? Must be another age thing. I blame it on school. Because SURELY my child could not be speaking like that of his own accord. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Becky- OMG, I'm still laughing. (And I'm at work trying to be respectable). whining about his whining. I think " " is the exact reaction I would have had. thanks for sharing this story.