It's turning into spider season here in the northwest, when the entire town turns into a big sticky web, and this doesn't sit well with Finn. As we were dodging webs on the way to the car this morning, Finn taught me a new word: "spited". This is apparently a cross between 'spider' and 'smite' and therefore means: "to be killed by spiders as you try to squeeze into your car seat."
Used in a sentence: "Daddy, don't let me get spited!"
I successfully kept him from getting spited... but only after he said "please". Because we're totally hard-asses like that.
Apparently only the threat of getting spited is enough to actually squeeze a please out of this kid, since normally getting him to show any common courtesy at all is like getting him to pull his hand out of his nose. That is to say, it's not easy - though far less disturbing at a restaurant dinner table.
And though we try not to make it a battle of wills, let's just say that he's spent many an hour locked in the backseat of the car in a hot parking lot with his windows rolled all the way up because he didn't say please when he asked to come inside the water park.
Oh, if only. That sure sounds like it would work. Instead, we're forced to use bribery to show how much cool stuff kids that say "please" and "thank you" get, like ice cream and cookies and college funds. Turning our kid into a polite adult is going to break the bank.
Sometimes he'll happily accept a request, announcing "of course I will" when asked to do something or throwing in a random unprompted "thank you", but still very few pleases that don't come with threats or treats. Very unpredictable.
But then again, he's an unpredictable kid. This morning, after I saved him from being spited, as I was leaving daycare I asked him to take off his shoes so he could go play with his friends. I turned around just in time to see him taking off his pants.
That surprised me, because in my experience, it ALWAYS takes a "please" to get someone else to take off their pants.