So, we’re driving home from school and The Who is trying to negotiate his way into eating the cookie I had gotten him. (I had told him he could have it with his dinner, which I believe to be more than fair.)
“But I am so hungry now, Mama!” Try a diversion, said the little voice in my head. (The same voice that’s been helping me remember to go with the flow and try “time-in” instead of time-out, which, incidentally, is totally working so far.)
So, I say, “Is your belly full or empty?”
“Perfect! It’s nearly dinnertime! That’s the best time for your belly to be empty!” (I’m hoping that he’s biting, but he’s kind of not. Because, see, he’s hungry for a cookie. This dinner business is pretty much bullshit.)
“Are your shoes empty or full?”
“Full of feet?”
“Are your pants empty or full?”
“Full of legs?”
And on and on. He did some. I did some more. As we turned the corner onto our street, I was running out of options. I said, “Is your bladder empty or full?”
“Because mine is full,” I said.
“What does that mean?”
I explained what a bladder is. He didn’t say much and we pulled into the driveway and started talking about which side of the car he was going to get out. He asked if the house was empty or full (which, c’mon, that’s a pretty clever way to ask if his mommy was home yet, right?)
Inside, he ate his dinner (yes, the cookie first), chatted about his day (“We had circle time and then we played and that’s all I remember”), and we called Grandma to make sure her plane landed. Then he took his ritual after-dinner trip to the bathroom and after some reading and alone-time, he called me in, triumphant.
“Mama!” he told me. “My platter is empty!”