Thursday, November 11, 2010

Catching Cooper

Picture's a little fuzzy, but I snapped this right before Caleb was leaving for school. Keep in mind the temps went up to the mid 70s, but Caleb's prepared for snow, nonetheless.

The thing I've learned as a parent is the minute you think you have them all figured out, they'll do something to remind you that you really don't have a clue. (Of course, some kids like to provide more reminders than others.) In my experience, it seems like third and fourth children really like to provide reminders. They know we've pretty much seen it all, so they have to be creative, shocking, and innovative. They also know timing is everything. They take advantage of the chaos and mayhem, and use those turbulent moments to sneak, dodge, and generally pull one over on mom.

Cooper provided today's reminder. Today, Cooper was caught manipulating the Wood family meal system. Cooper knows once he cleans his plate, he can snag a treat. Lately, we've been pleased at home (and school) to see how quickly and effortless he's been cleaning his plate. What an appetite, we thought! Such an eater, we praised! Until....

Last night, I noticed an exorbitant amount of crumbs under Cooper's dining room chair. Today, Cooper's teacher commented on the same fact. We began to share notes, and then realized...Cooper is hiding and tossing food (doing it on the sly), announcing his clean plate, and then devouring his treat.

Tonight, I actually witnessed one of his maneuvers. I was helping Collin with dinner, when I took a side glance at Cooper. Cooper was staring straight ahead, and then with a slight flick of the wrist flung a Smiley Fry onto the floor. When, he noticed my stares, he replied, "Oops, it's dirty. I guess I can't eat it!"

Needless to say, he's busted. No more "accidently" dropping. No more food crumbled to pieces. I'm trying to watch him just a little closer, which makes me wonder what exactly the other boys may attempt.

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