If you want to annoy your big brother, nothing does the trick like bossing him around.
From Primo’s perspective, he already has one Mommy, and he doesn’t need another, particularly a four year-old one with no flexibility, patience or impulse control.
“OK, OK, Primo, we’ll find your Lego figure,” she assures him, “Just relax, OK, just take a deeeeeeep breath and reeeelaa-“
“STOP ACTING LIKE A GROWN-UP!” he yells.
“I know its annoying, Prim,” I say, “But the only alternative is her acting like a four year-old which is much worse.”
Sec is fond of using “Mommy” techniques to promote her own agenda. Her favorite is counting to three.
“Gimme a lick of that ice cream! PRIMO! GIMME A LICK OF THAT ICE CREAM! Do you HEAR me? I’m going to count to three and you better give me a lick of that ice cream cone, or you’re going to lose your dessert. One. Two . . . “
Its not how “1.2.3 Magic” suggests implanting the technique but, crazily enough, it works for Sec.
Primo sometimes gets on a Mommy power trip too, though he’s more apt to bargain, to incentivize rather than threaten:
“You want this shoe? OK, I will give you the shoe . . . If you play Harry Potter with me. Is that a deal?”
This, too, is surprisingly effective. In fact, I’ve noticed that the children’s imitations of my parenting techniques are more effective than my own implementation. Is that demoralizing or what?