The threat of Santa. I’m willing to bet that in nearly every house that Santa visits there has been at least one threat over the past few weeks.
Better be good, Santa’s watching or You don’t want coal for Christmas, do you?
I didn’t want to do it. It seems cruel to hold a holiday hostage. Not that I didn’t have the occasional fantasy of moving the tree and all the presents into the back room on Christmas Eve so that in the morning he’d race down the stairs to a Grinch stripped living room. Gee, bud. Santa must have decided you were too naughty. Guess that’s what you get for not listening.
But these are just the passing thoughts I never let take root. I am, after all, not psychotic.
And normally Quinn is good – a stray moment of overtired melt-down here or bored mischief there, but over all he’s a pretty easy kid. Or he was.
I’m not sure if it’s the holidays, or cues from kids at school, or some mysterious 3 to 4 years old transitional chemistry, but he’s recently taken to two habits that I’m not a fan of.
One of these habits is an obstinate refusal to listen.
He hears me just fine, yet continues to blithely do whatever it was that I expressly told him not to do.
I’m a counter, but there are no two-and-a-halfs here. It is simple. One. Two. Three. I move on three, and I never count unless I am willing to physically get up and stop him from doing whatever he’s doing every single time he does it. I’ve been counting a lot these days, and I don’t like it. And it used to be that hearing “one” was enough. He knows I mean business.
Now he waits until “three” and we have a mad scramble to see who wins.
The other bad habit is lying. In particular, blaming the dog for everything. Even when the dog is outside. Or when we watch him do whatever it is.
And a few days ago, after an unusually trying week and an astronomical number of lies, I did it. I played the Santa card.
You better be careful buddy. If you keep it up you’re just going to have a box of rocks under the tree instead of presents.
His response? That’s ok, Mama. I love rocks.”
Hmmm. This is true. He does love rocks. And empty boxes. There isn’t all that much that he doesn’t like. But he’s not that into things either, so even the threat of nothing would be useless.
What then, is Santa to do?