I learned, upon picking up Fergus from school on Thursday, that he had not had a Very Good Listening Day. This is his very gentle and lovely teacher’s favorite euphemism. When pressed, she admitted that that included grabbing things from other children, unexplained crying jags, and general willful disobedience.
Yelling at Fergus is copout parenting, the books would say, and besides, it affects him not a whit. So I tried the serious, quiet conversation route, which seemed to work very well. As I was summing things up:
MOMMY: So Fergus. Are you going to be a better listener from now on?
FERGUS: (sighing heavily) YEEESSSSSS…
MOMMY: That’s great news.
FERGUS: When I said YEEESSSSSS wike dat?
FERGUS: It meant I’ll twy. But I pwobby won’t wenember.
MOMMY: I see. Should I keep reminding you?
FERGUS: (waving his hand) Naw, I’m good.