Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Always amazing, that Nearly-Five

Now the story about alternative rewards.

Brief history (see Nov 3 post for reference): Lance has had some small issues at preschool, with bringing home notes (not every day, but 1 or 2 a week for a few weeks) that he "had trouble making safe choices" or "needed lots of reminders to keep his hands to himself" or "was throwing balls at people in the gym." We started out by taking away the privilege of an evening video if he had a tough day at school, but it just seemed to make him angry at us and ruin our evening.

So we came up with the "reward for a good week" idea, and last week it was a Ninja Turtle cartoon from the movie store. But I quote myself from Nov 3... "We plan to use it again as needed, but use alternative rewards like a special meal out or special activity, so it's not always a movie."

Lance and I discussed it yesterday. I said, "You know, the reward doesn't always have to be a movie. Mommy and Daddy would like to talk to you about other ideas for rewards."
I'm expecting this response: "I only like movies and Star Wars toys. That's what I want." and figuring that we've just ruined any chance for intrinsic motivation and he'll always need to be paid for good grades or bribed to do his chores--he's a lost cause at Nearly-Five.

But here's what pops out of his mouth!
"Mommy, I have an idea. Maybe the special reward could be a trip out to breakfast on the weekend, to the Original Pancake House, or maybe special time with you at the park, or out to lunch, or you could take me roller skating, or maybe ICE SKATING! "
My eyes actually filled up with tears. I was so proud we had to call Daddy at work right away and retell.
"But Mommy, sometimes the reward could be a movie, right?"

And last night before bed, a STUMPER! He went through a phase of asking questions about God and death when he was about 3, including, "What happens to your body when you die?" "When will I die?" "How tall is God?" "Where do people live in Heaven?" and "Will I see Grandpa John in Heaven?" But the stumper questions have tapered off, probably while Star Wars stories and Ninja Turtles thoughts are killing off brain cells.

Tuesday night's stumper: "Before I was born, before I was in your tummy, where was I?"

Uhhhhhh. Somehow with this amazingly verbal, sharp kid, we have avoided the actual body parts discussion about the mechanics of how babies are made. He knew the word "uterus" and how Audrey was in a bag of water and how she came out, but he was satisfied with the explanation about how Daddy has something in his body called sperm and Mommy has eggs (which, by the way, is HYSTERICAL to him. I think he pictures egg cartons in there..) and they go together to make a baby. But he never asked the famous HOW DO THEY GET TOGETHER question.

I know, you're on the edge of your seat.... how did we answer? Luckily Daddy was in the room too. I reviewed the egg and sperm part, and said he wasn't a baby yet. Daddy saved the day, saying that God knew he was going to be our baby, he just hadn't decided what he would look like yet. That satisfied him--I could just see the wheels turning, picturing a big room with a bunch of babies on shelves, waiting to be mailed...

Amazing, that Nearly-Five.

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