Prepare for Trouble, And Make it Double (or Triple/Quadruple)

Calvin has been in an exploratory mood recently and by exploratory, I mean he likes to try out things when I am not watching because I am usually the voice of dissent. The result was that during consecutive quiet times while I take a nap, he would sneak around to play with colored water which stained the floor, a stamp which left ink on the door and wall, rip posters/ pictures off the wall so he could get the poster putty to stick his lego/ Transformers/ toys to each other. He knows that I do not approve. In fact, he would sneak to my door and peak in to see if I am asleep before he starts. During the poster putty incident, he thought I was asleep and started pulling out the pictures in the hall. I heard the distinctive ‘twack’ of the putty being pulled off and called to him to remind him that the putty is not a toy. He scurried back to his room quickly. I thought that was settled until I went to his room later and found the pandemonium of his new poster crumpled on the floor and pictures strewn on the floor, plundered of the sticky companions that kept them aloft on the wall. To my credit, I did not scream at him. We merely cleaned up and I gave him explanations on why he shouldn’t do what he did.

We have been trying out new experiences in the form of experiments and projects like our marshmallow “World of goo” tower, rice sensory tub, craft bats for Halloween, new board game (he is getting good at “Spot it!”. We now give him a 5 second lead time), literacy activities etc etc so I don’t think this is a result of boredom or lack of stimulation.


World of goo!


Yummy goo 🙂













Perhaps this is him asserting his independence. Does it mean I have been breathing down his neck too much? Well it can’t be helped since he still can’t differentiate between what is safe and what isn’t or how to contain messes. Case in point, yesterday he was playing with the full length mirror that was propped on the wall and started commenting that the room is tilting which I interprete as “I am now moving this big mirror and it might fall on my head if I don’t balance it well.” I was not reassured when I asked him what he thinks he should do if the mirror breaks and he said he should run away. I made him promise to call for help in case there is broken glass afoot but I am not sure how much of that he will remember if he panics.

So far, I think I’ve been as patient with him as I can muster. In fact, holding myself back from expressing anger is probably giving me extra stress >_< This morning however, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when he took the dirty toilet scrub that is tucked in the corner and threw it into the potty that was unflushed and full of his pee (thank goodness it was not number 2).  I was probably angry because of quite a few different things –

1) I found out about his wrong doing instead of being told

2) I really hate the dirty toilet brush and I have no idea what he used the brush to touch before dunking it in the potty

3) When I found out and told him I was mad about it, he was unrepentant (as usual) and declared that he was mad at me

4) When I told him to stop making faces while I talked, he ignored me and continued making his angry faces.

5) I just told him yesterday to ask before using anything that wasn’t a toy if he has not used it before


While I think my reaction is justifiable and normal, especially in view of all the mischief I’ve had to dealt with in the last 3 days, I felt like I could do better. Maybe I just needed some time to refill with maternal zen.

1) To begin with, I could have walked away to calm down instead of being angry when I started talking to him. We always end up in this bad cycle (I get angry and he gets angry back) when I don’t take time to calm down.

2) I should have given him the chance to explain/ talk about what he has done.

3) I need to think about and organize what I really want him to learn from this. I tend to go on and on and on and he loses focus from the long nagging he is subjected to.

I didn’t like that we had to punish him by giving him a timeout for acting disrespectful and ignoring my request to stop making faces but I guess once we back ourselves into that corner it is inevitable. I didn’t like how needlessly prolix our lecturing became. Maybe I need a “What to do when you are angry” list to help me when I feel overwhelmed by negative emotion…


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