Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bad influence

Liam is normally a wonderful, sweet, funny, docile little guy. He rarely gives anyone trouble of any kind. Except... I have a feeling the tide may be turning a bit. Over the past few weeks, I have noticed him tossing out a few little barbs that have surprised me. Nothing big and nothing prolonged - his next sentence is usually sweet as pie, and I forget about it pretty quickly. But I'm thinking now (after listening to a coworker complain of how lippy HER 4 year old is)... piecing the bits together... and realizing that we're heading down that road (to a lesser extent, I hope - fingers crossed) ourselves.

These barbs, as I call them, are insignificant enough that I can't even recall one word for word. A typical scenario would be that I ask Liam to do XX or else YY will happen. And he'll say, "You can't make me." And let me qualify this by saying that he isn't belligerent when he says this, he isn't shouting or stomping about. He will murmur this out of the corner of his mouth as he goes to start doing XX. He is very carefully testing the waters to see how I will react. Baby steps.

Mostly, I ignore him. Well, not really. You know what I mean. I say, "Thanks for doing XX" without reacting to his comment with a comment of my own. I figure this stuff is probably coming home from school. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

I'm sure this will escalate. He'll be a screaming, fit-throwing teenager one day. But knowing Liam, it won't progress far. Or fast. He is still my number one little guy, and (so far, at least) he would bend over backward for me. Even when he's testing out these new words, deep down, I know he doesn't mean it; he's just figuring out this big world, and his own place in it.