If Jake doesn't grow up to be a lawyer of some type, I might feel slightly jilted on all the time we've had to endure his endless arguments for or against (mostly against) whatever we request.
86.4% of the time we ask/tell/remind him to do something he has a "But!..." followed by a lengthy explanation of why it wasn't his fault or why he didn't do it the first time (or 10) the request or order was verbalized. These diatribes are usually repeated endlessly. ENDLESSLY. All capitals. Sometimes we think this kid's absolute goal in life is to wear us down.
Or to get a Wii....
But mostly to wear us down.
Last night at dinner Mike asked Jake to sit up at the table. This is a ritual repeated every night at least five times during dinner. Jake went into his "But!..." speech and I put down my fork and as sweetly as I could muster given the grueling circumstances said:
"Jake. I think you would surprised at how much happier this entire household would be if all you said after dad asked you to do something was, 'Okay, dad.' Or if I ask you, then say, 'Okay, mom.' I swear. It would be a different place."
He just looked at me and said, "Okay, mom." Then he burst out laughing and I said, "See! It's already working!"
Has it lasted 24 hours? Yes and no. He's started a couple times with the "But!..." speech but I simply have held up my hands and calmly said, "Okay, mom". His reply has sometimes been:
"Okay. Mom." (through clenched teeth).
Okaaaaaaay, daaaad (with rolled eyes he thinks we don't see).
This afternoon Maddie actually started to come up with an excuse as to why she couldn't do something we'd asked her to do and Jake broke in and said, "No, Maddie. You are just supposed to say, 'Okay, dad'. You can't say anything else."
Are we happier 24 hours later? I am. Am I living in la-la land that this will hold out? Hardly.
But, I'm heading out of town this weekend and as Mike told Jake at the dinner table last night,
"It's just me this weekend, Jake. And if you don't cut the attitude I have no problem letting you sit in your room, all by yourself without a single toy all weekend."
Eek. Okay, dad.