Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tools of Fatherhood

During all this talk about twins and girls and getting ready for that ship to land, I am still practicing the art of fatherhood for one supremely awesome little boy. Braden is never outshone by the preparation and nail biting that accompany a twin pregnancy. In fact he probably couldn't be outshone by the sun if it took up residence in our living room.

This morning at 3:30 am he reminded us of our duties when he woke up crying. When I went to ask him what he wanted Braden replied, "I want sleep Daddy's bed." On a side note Braden thinks the couch is my bed. Not because I am frequently in the doghouse, but because that is where he gets to sleep with me on those particularly difficult nights.

This time I told him no to Daddy's bed. Then I rubbed his back until he went back to sleep. Thankfully that only took a few minutes. Because any more difficulties would have required me to call in the big guns. At our house we call her Mom.

Arica can get Braden to do most anything. She has her bluff in on him. She threatens and he moves. She can threaten time outs, naps, taking away toys, turning off the TV, and other things. Even when those threats are met with the utmost dissension, she eventually wins out. Of course it is not always threatening that works. Many times it is a simple explanation that gets Braden's approval. Other times it is redirecting his attention to something else. Arica is a master of all these techniques.

On the other hand I am a master of none. My threats carry the weight of a feather. Even when I carry them through I can't get the desired result. Braden has actually started to respond to me a little better. Sometimes he knows I mean business. But most of the time he either carries on like I'm not there or he digs in and argues ferociously. If you've never seen a 2 year old argue with a 33 year old then consider yourself lucky. It is not a pretty sight.

During these most difficult of times I do have one weapon. When Braden is being difficult for some reason Arica can go to her bag of tricks for reason, punishment, or distraction. I am not so lucky. In my tool box there is but one tool for sticky situations. When the going gets tough, you know what I do?

I tickle.

This is certainly not award winning parenting, but you do what you have to do. I can't succeed at any of the typically prescribed disciplinary methods, but man can I tickle a frown away. It's fun for now, but I better get some chops before Braden reaches high school. I can't see tickling as a proper method for handling any of those teenage problems.


Katherine said...

Clint tickles, too, and it works for him. Most of the time, I can get Ethan to listen to me. I know I've got him when he says, "Don't count to three mom!"

Ethan has been wanting to come to our bed lately. Clint is way more accepting of that practice than I am.

Sheila said...

HA!!! If the tickles worked on teenagers - i would be the FIRST one to go with that method! HA!

Brandy@YDK said...

hey - whatever works.

Rob said...

Are you trying to say a teenage boy doesn't want his father tickling him? LOL. To me that would seem like the perfect punishment. You can tell him you better clean that room or I will tickle you in front of your friends. LOL. I should try this on Sabreena who is 15. I will let you know what I find out.

Captain Dumbass said...

You do what you gotta do.

Jack said...

Jedi Mind trick- works every time for me.

SurprisedMom said...

Tickling, huh? Well, whatever works is good.

In my house it's the opposite when getting the girls to listen. The Mister is Arica and I am you. I didn't tickle, though. I thought tickling was torture because it was used on me WAY too much as a kid by my sisters.

However, tickling a teen in front of his friends seems like it would be a good motivator.

The photo of you and Braden made me smile.

PJ Mullen said...

Tickling is a highly underrated parenting tool. I use it constantly to get my son to bend to my will.