I'm learning that kids go through a lot of phases. Some are short, some are long, but many of the bad (or at least annoying) ones seem to go away on their own in whatever time they need. I really like that.
Take, for instance, Kevin's need to wear shoes ALL THE TIME. This includes wearing shoes to bed. We don't like for him to have them on all night so we take them off after he falls asleep. If you were to watch us do this, you'd think that we were disabling a bomb - but in reality we're just trying not to wake him up. Last week, we began waiting until bed time to change Kevin into his bed clothes (that in itself is another phase which he has outgrown... he used to refuse to wear pajamas) and redirecting him when he vehemently asked for his shoes. Surprisingly, it worked! This week, he doesn't even ask for his shoes at bed time anymore. I really didn't think we'd get past this phase so quickly.
Kevin used to throw his napkin on the floor during meals. This is a phase that did not go away on its own but is an example of how perfect parenting will produce perfectly behaved children (if you're not a parent, you may not catch on to my sarcasm.) Anyway, we've taught Kevin that he gets nowhere by throwing his napkin on the floor in a fit of anger. Another phase that has come and gone.
I'm learning to put so many annoying things that Kevin does into perspective now that I realize he changes his behaviors on a fairly regular basis. It's nice to know that even the longest phases are still phases that will probably go away on their own. That's a relief when he picks up his hairbrush before bed every night now and has to brush everybody's hair (not very well, mind you) a few times before getting into bed (and he screams without it, at which point I realize, "Hey, it's just a hair brush and it's only about 2 minutes worth of time and it's really just annoying, it's not hurting anyone.")
I know, I know - most of you are wondering where the really annoying or harmful stuff comes in. I mean, really - shoes to bed and using a hairbrush? Come on, those are probably good things! Well, these are just some examples. Don't fret - there are worse things going on around here while you're not looking :-)