We love some Christmas lights around here. Love. It's the highlight of the evening to walk three houses down the street to gawk at the especially well-lit yard. We are also trying out a new motivation tactic: the Energy Drain technique, a la Love & Logic. So basically, less desireable behaviors drain the energy out of parents for doing nice, fun things, requiring more good deeds to replace the energy.
This particular brand of manipulation has been working well. I rode that train all the way through playroom clean-up, room clean-up and putting laundry away. Putting books on the bookshelf proved to be too much for one three year old. Too.Much. When delivered the news that only the little sister got to go see lights, The Regulator lost.his.mind. Screaming. Screeching. Tears. Topped with the shriek of, "Cut it off, Mommy!"
The intended meaning is either, "Cut it out, Mommy." OR a version of when I tell him that I'm going to put off an injured body part when he's being especially dramatic. Either way, it's one of those moments where my frustration and anger turned on a dime.