Two years ago, I was able to use Santa Claus and his magical powers to potty train Leo. I told him that Santa doesn't bring toys to almost 3 year old boys who poop in their pants. Sure, looking back at it now, it seems a bit drastic. But it worked, instantly.
But Santa seems to have lost some of his pull around here. At least for a now four year old Leo who clearly still believes in Santa and has given his always growing Christmas list to at least five different Santas this year. I can tell he's a little worried about his chances of being on Santa's nice list. He should be. He's going through his "Let's see just how much I can get away with around here" phase, combined with his "I am NOT taking naps anymore, I don't care how tired and miserable and grumpy and rotten I am every day by 4 p.m." nap boycott. He can be just a little bit of a great big ass sometimes. And I am his favorite target. He know exactly how to push my buttons and gets the biggest kick out of doing so. It's how he entertains himself all morning.
So, for three months now, I have been reminding him OFTEN, that he better watch out, he better not shout, cry, pout etc. because Santa Claus is coming blah, blah, blah. But he just can't help himself. He's just a spastic little four year old with more energy than he knows what to do with and no matter how hard he tries, sometimes it is "just too hard to be good". Like when everything does NOT go HIS way ALL THE TIME! That is NOT FAIR! Or when he is expected to SHARE his toys. That too is SO NOT FAIR! Or when I wrestle him into a shirt that he DOES NOT LIKE! NOT FAIR!
He's a typical little four year old. There is no logical explanation to combat his illogical rationale. I remember this with Madeline when she was this age, but she didn't have the stick-to-it-iveness that he has. She was a fast learner. One time, when my father was with us, she and I were having a small disagreement about something. We went back and forth for a bit and I finally simply reminded her that I will always win these arguments because I'm MOM. My father loved that line and he's always asking me if I'm still winning all the arguments. I am. But with four kids now, there is A LOT of arsenal on their side. And the four year old is their secret weapon. He is the indestructible one, the one who is immune to all of my secret weapons, even Santa.
So this year, I've brought in back up-the Elf of the Shelf. I figured maybe little mister smarty pants has convinced himself that there is no way Santa can see him all the time if he can't see Santa. So I thought, perhaps if we had a sneaky, creepy little elf spying on us and staring at us every second of the day with a sinister little grin on his face, who's job it is to report back to Santa every night, Leo might once again be scared straight. Hardly.
I like to see Leo sweating it out a little. I see him flashing our little elf his "what exactly did you tell Santa last night" glare and his "please help me get on the good list" eyes. "I know I've been naughty, but look how sweet I am right now with my big blue eyes. Can't you pull some strings for me? Put in a good word for me? Please."
And I always know when he his fretting about the naughty list. Suddenly I'll hear a sweet little voice-
Leo: "I love you."
Me: "Oooh, thank you. I love you too."
Leo: "Do you think Santa heard me say that? Do you think I'm on the good list now?"
Let's be honest. Little Leo is going to have a great Christmas, because, bottom line, he's a special, sweet, wonderful little boy who is just, a little boy. Santa has faith in Leo. Santa knows that Leo is going to snap out of this "little ass" phase and grow into the caring, kind, helpful, thoughtful, fun little boy we all know he is in spite of himself. Santa could never break Little Leo's heart on Christmas morning. Santa...is a sucker.
But I wouldn't be surprised if little Leo finds a little coal in his stocking this year. Just a little warning to let him know that Santa has him on his radar.