Saturday, May 05, 2007

5/5/07 Gabriel calls the police

A busy day, with no photos, again.

A typical conflict with Gabriel today escalated into a pretty funny scene. I asked him to pick up his school supplies, and he refused, claiming Julian had gotten them out (this is a new thing: the boys blame each other). I warned him he'd better put them away, he refused. So I picked them up, put them into their box, and threw it into the garbage.

Gabriel was so outraged that he threatened in bloodcurdling tones that he'd call the police and they'd put me in jail. "Yeah!" chimed in Julian, "they'll give Mommy a bad ticket!". Gabriel carried out his threat, pulling up a barstool to get the phone handset, turning it on, and then trying to dial something. (This is why I wouldn't dare teach him to call 911.)

So I went with it. I took the phone from him and said "Fine, Gabriel, you want to call the police? We'll call them. And you know what the police will say?" I had their riveted attention now. "The police will say that little boys must listen to their mother." Gabriel didn't buy it, and again demanded the police be called. So I let him hear the dial tone, and then I "dialed" the police.

Exit Mom, enter Bob Newhart. "Hello, police?"

The boys were mortified.

"Gabriel wants you to come here to put me in jail! ....Oh, mm-hmmm. (listening), I thought so. I'll tell him." And I put my hand over the mouthpiece and told Gabriel, "See, the policeman says you have to listen to your mother."

Then I got back on the phone and pretended to listen some more, then said, "No, no, I don't think you have to come here. Gabriel will listen, you don't need to put him in jail. I'm sure he'll be very good, that's OK, he's being good. You don't need to come, I'll tell him. Thank you. Good-bye, police!" And I hung up.

Wide-eyed, they looked to me for an explanation. "I told the policeman not to come because you boys are going to be very good and listen to me and do what I say now, right?" Julian just looked at me. Then, incredibly, Gabriel burst into tears! "I don't want to go to jail!" he bawled.

It was all I could do not to roll on the floor with laughter. Guilty laughter, since scaring the cr*p out of your kids is generally considered to be poor form. But geez, he started it!

I hugged Gabriel and assured him the police weren't coming, that policemen were our friends, that they have little boys and girls too and that they know that little boys and girls have to listen to their mothers and fathers. I played up every positive aspect there was, and it was all forgotten within a few minutes. Knowing Gabriel, the lesson itself was forgotten too, and he'll be right back to his rude demanding talk tomorrow.

Julian remembered it, and asked me about it at various points throughout the day. He's much more like his cousin Aidan, absorbing and remembering an incident and asking about it later. (Of course, I wouldn't dream of pulling a stunt like that with imaginative Aidan.)

It was an odd day, with highs such as a rollerblading workshop in the morning, and a long run at Rancho San Antonio in the afternoon, and a low point so sad I can't bring myself to write about it. But it was capped off by a surprise visit from Aunt Laura and Uncle Ryan tonight. No day can possibly be bad that involves the world's greatest in-laws.


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