Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Remember the Armadillo!"

No, that isn't a typo. And it isn't a reference to the battle down near San Antonio. Nope, this would be my newest parenting mantra. Let me explain....

Aiden is HORRIBLE about running off from me in parking lots--we'll be walking together, he's holding the stroller like he should be one second, and then something catches his eye and he'll dart off toward the store, running ahead of me. It seems that no matter how many times I've threatened him, punished him or yelled at him, he still does it. While we were in Devil's Den recently, we came across the squished carcass of an armadillo in the middle of a back road, so I told my dad to stop and pull alongside. I unbuckled Aiden from his seat and had him look out the window at the dead, mutilated body of that poor armadillo.

In my most serious voice, I tell him "You see that armadillo, with all his guts hanging out? You know what happened to him? He didn't listen to his mommy and he ran into the road in front of a car and got ran over. See how he's been squished flat and he's dead? Do you want that to happen to you?"

Aiden looked at me with wide eyes. "No, mama, I don't want to get squished."

"Well, that's why I tell you to stay out of the road. And that's why you aren't supposed to run away from mommy in the parking lot. And that's also why we tell you to look both ways before you go into the street. Mommy and Daddy love you very much and would be very sad if you got squished like that armadillo."

"I won't get in the road, mama. I'll listen. That armadillo, he disobeyed, but I won't. I won't get runned over."

The adults in the car had a difficult time keeping a straight face during this exchange, myself included, but it seems to have worked. Ever since that moment, if Aiden even begins to run off, I just yell, "Remember the armadillo!" and he quickly changes his mind. Yes, it was a bit morbid, but a lesson I am hoping will stick with him for a long while. I don't think I ever thought I'd use roadkill as a parenting tool, but at this point, I'm willing to try just about anything to keep my little guy "unsquished."


eleventhirtysix images said...

I am cracking up.


Becky said...

Brilliant parenting!!!

The Fox Family said...

A true "Angela Parenting" moment... great idea!!! I am such a loser, my description to Stella is a PANCAKE... dead animal carcus seems much more interesting!

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