He’s four years old. And a sweet, sweet boy at heart. But we have stumbled upon a behavioral issue that has me flummoxed.
Thankfully, the worst language my son knows consists of “poopie”, “heck”, “dadgum”, and his recent favorite—“stinky”. But boy, does he know how to use them liberally. It’s become his new way of voicing his discontent, or simply trying to get a reaction out of us.
Need an example to better understand the problem? I just so happen to have a transcript from my conversation with him this morning…
Setting: The four-year-old has just pottied after awakening this morning. I see him emerge from the restroom, knowing that no post-potty hand washing has occurred.
Me: “Sweetheart, please go wash your hands after you potty.”
Son: “Stinky!” (It goes without saying, he makes no effort to move toward the sink.)
Me: “Son…Go to the sink and wash your hands.”
Son: “Stinky hands, stinky feet, stinky face, stinky me, stinky Mama!” (All the while with a huge, devilish grin on his face…and a little hokey-pokey dance to go with it.)
Me (still a little delirious at 6:30 AM on a Sunday – don’t even get me started on that little tidbit, I could write volumes on how badly that sucks): “Um, okay…Go to the sink and wash your hands, then proceed directly to the naughty corner.”
Son (happily marching over to the sink, still giggling with pride as he spouts forth his idea of comic gold): “Stinky, stinky, stinky, stinky, STINKY!” (I lost count at five “stinkies”…He may have rounded it out at six.)
So, there you have it. A window into my latest parenting dilemma. (I know, you’re thinking I handled that so astonishingly well, I should write a book on parenting…Trust me, it’s taken years of practice. And just in case it’s not obvious, that was sarcasm.)
I realize his words of choice right now are pretty mild (mercifully). But is this going to lead to the hard stuff later on? I’m already envisioning being called in for a parent-teacher meeting, trying to explain why my son has a disturbing enthusiasm for profane language. I swear, he’s not picking it up from me.
So, what do I do about this dadgum stinky-poopie situation? Any pearls of wisdom are greatly appreciated…