My husband and I have affectionately started calling our oldest son, now three years old, our little Hall Monitor. He’s very good at following the rules and making sure that his parents do the same.
For example, just yesterday we went to Target for this certain kind of yogurt that he likes. Because he was sick, I had promised him that we would get that particular yogurt, but unfortunately, it wasn’t it stock at the Target we were in. That meant that we’d have to go all the way to the other Target. Not happy about this, I admit that I muttered something about another trip being a “pain in the butt.” “Mommy!” he said authoritatively, “we don’t say ‘butt’!” I stared at him, still in his PJs and sitting so cute in the Target cart. I could tell he was serious. “You’re right, honey. Mommy shouldn’t have said that.” He looked at me with knitted brow, trying to see if I was really remorseful. After a few reminders, he finally forgave me.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to pick him up from day care, and I was so excited to see him that I felt a surge of energy. “I’ll beat you to the lobby!” I said happily, and I started to run down the hall. He came to a halt and said sternly, “Mommy, we don’t run in the halls! We use our walking feet!” I immediately felt ashamed of myself, and looked around to see if any other parents had seen my transgression. “Sorry, honey,” I said, walking slowing toward the exit.
Other things that he’s caught us doing that are definite no-no’s: parking in the fire lane; saying “poopy” for anything other than actual poopy; not saying “excuse me” after a burp; and the list could go on…
I love him for his rule-abiding qualities. I have to wonder if they’ll continue as he grows older, or if he’ll eventually learn that rules are made to be broken. But for now, it’s really so sweet, albeit stressful – I’m still trying to follow all the rules and not get busted.
More from parenting