“Luke, say you’re sorry to Kate.” I told my four year old today after he engaged his big sister in a one-sided kick boxing match.
“I’m saying it in my mind.”
How can one little word be so hard to say out loud?
Even Dean, my newest talker, who you can get to say just about anything, has a hard time uttering a simple apology. He’ll give me the stink eye and refuse to say the five letter word until he really gets in trouble, then it’s all he can do to say the adjective in between his heart broken sobs upon being disciplined.
My favorite “I’m Sorry” story happened a couple of years ago. Luke was two. He had hit me smack in the face pretty hard and I told him to apologize to me. He was a feisty little thing and said, “No!”
“Luke, that really hurt. Say you’re sorry.”
“No sorry, Mom.”
Now it was more than just an apology I wanted. I had to win this battle in order to maintain my place as the Alpha. No two year old was going to outrank me in this pack.
I put him on “The Naughty Spot,” set the timer and bid my time.
“Luke, are you ready to say you’re sorry to me?”
“No. No sorry.”
I couldn’t believe this small matter was escalating out of control like this! But I HAD to win. I swatted his bum, sat him back down and said firmly,
“Say, ‘I’m sorry Mom.’ That’s it! Just three little words. ‘I’m sorry Mom.’ Say it!!”
He bowed his blond head, then between gritted teeth, he seethed out the words,
“I’m sorry….” Then he look up and met my gaze. “Dad.”
Ooooh, he was a feisty one alright! That’s when I cracked and broke down laughing. Once he saw me smile, he knew he was in the clear and started to laugh too.
Since then I have added an additional required gesture to all non heart felt apologies: The Hug.
I figure if I can at least hug the tightest, I can still retain my Alpha dog status around here.
“What? I’m crushing you? Oops. Sorry.”