Sunday, September 03, 2006

Nurture vs. Nature? It's To Hang Out Where His Friends Are

There has been an positive change in the atmosphere in this house. We are blissfully watching Olivia growing in mind, becoming more aware and enjoyable, and closer to that day that we can legally require her to get after-school employment. Simon is aging and not on his constant biting campaign. But bigger, and better, is the New Jake that has been coming to the table.

I have shared with you before that I have been surprised that, considering my uber-parenting, Jake is able to talk to me as if I were not only the unhippest human on the planet, but also as though I sport an I.Q. that hovers on the low side of the eighties. And just as I was getting used to such treatment, he morphed into someone else. Someone who seems to occasionally give a damn.

Eric and I have been spending the last few days with our mouth hung open. (His can possibly be more attributed to the fact that he had two wisdom teeth wrenched from his jaw bone. It hurt badly enough for me to scrap my earlier, well-thought out plan of bringing him Tylenols while I squirreled away the percs for my later use.) We are basking in the joy of saying something once and by God It Has Been So Decreed. This is previously unheard of, and I am shocked by some of the responses I have been receiving. Ones that include, "Okay, Mom, I'll do it." or "Oh, sorry Mom, I forgot, let me do it now." or "Hey Mom, I put away the clothes that you folded." And these phrases, accompanied with an appropriate pleasing tone, are all actually followed up by the promised actions. Add this on to a week of one hundreds on tests, highest scores available on the weekly behavior reports, and homework finished without cajoling before 4:00. I was floating on a cloud of success, feeling that my mothering had ultimately won. Sweet Jesus, it worked; the way I have been parenting is a panacea, and clearly I need to write a book on childrearing.

It turns out the book content is small, his true motivation for the amazing see-what-I-can-do-and-how-responsible-I-am-now behavior can be reduced to one paragraph, only because I am pithy. It is merely one sentence for people more concise. And for those that would rather not even get a phone call from me about it: it's this link.


Di said...

First of all, this too shall pass, so enjoy it while it lasts. Second, the Club Penguin phase shall morph into the inappropriate phase which will then turn into internet porn sites...and you will still not care as long as the chores are getting done and the grades are good. And finally, he's a boy....just wait until OLIVIA TURNS PRE-TEEN (which starts soon after she loses her first tooth).
Di (bringing gloom and doom to an otherwise very positive post...miss ya!)

tracy said...

whatever it takes!! sign him up, he can be king penguin. oh yeah, I meant it must be your uber paretning skills for all of those years

Walter said...

Garrison Keillor said something to the effect that he comes from solid Minnesota stock, from people that know when everything's going well, all you have to do is be patient and this too shall pass.

Jack said...

WOW! You mean by just playing Club Penguin, his behavior and attitude improved? I'm telling my kids about it immediately.

Jack said...

HEY! That thing costs money. I get it now.