Middle Boy got in trouble last night. The issue was attitude and I addressed it with him before Chris got home. That makes it sound like I had a, "Now son..." conversation. It was more like I was dying to get my hands on him, but knew I shouldn't touch him, because I might touch him too hard. So I spoke loudly, my face very close to his face. You know, so he could read my lips if he wasn't hearing me clearly.
I punctuated the conversation with the humiliating Mom-Chest-Poke move. Before sending him to his room to think about what we'd discussed, I said, "DO [poke] YOU [poke] UNDERSTAND [poke] ME [poke]?! [Poke, poke, poke - just because.] He did.
Chris got home, talked to him again and didn't poke him. We both hugged him and helped him lick his wounds a bit without removing the new expectation. He was sorry for what had happened and was smiling and in good spirits before dinner.
Eddie Haskell Appearance #1
Middle Boy: Can I help you Mom?
Me: Sure. Would you like to set the table?
Middle Boy: Yes, please!
Me: You don't have to answer "Yes, please," Honey.
Middle Boy: Sorry.
Me: You don't have to be sorry.
Middle Boy: Okay. [smiling]
I had cooked a roast in the Crock-Pot. I threw in a few diced onions, carrots, roasted garlic, a few other spices, and two cups of red wine. It simmered all day and tasted good, but wine was definitely flavoring the meat.
Chris complimented the meal and asked how I had prepared it. I told him. Middle Boy looked concerned. I explained that it didn't taste exactly like wine and the heat burns off the alcohol. Try it, I said, you'll like it. [He'd only eaten his potatoes up to this point.]
He took a bite. His eyes watered a little and his nostrils flared.
Eddie Haskell Appearance #2
Me: What do you think?
Middle Boy: Well [smiling and blinking], the bad taste is 80% gone.
Me: So it only tastes 20% bad?
Middle Boy: Yes.
Me: Would you like a hot dog?
Middle Boy: Yes, please. [smiling]
As we were clearing the table, I noticed the boys need haircuts. I cut their hair typically before a shower or bath. They hate it. Not having short hair, but the process, whether I do it or someone else does. It's like flossing to them, or putting gas in the car for me. Needs to be done, but how about later? I understand.
Eddie Haskell Appearance #3
Me: You guys need a haircut. Want to get it over with tonight?
Oldest Boy: [silent]
Middle Boy: [smiling and blinking] If you don't mind, I'd rather not. I was unsuspected.
Me: Oh. Okay. I'll give you more of a head's-up in the future.
Middle Boy: [cheerfully] Thank you, Mom! I'll go take a bath now. Toddler Child, would you like to join me?