Last night I (Jordan) was laying on Matthew's bed with him reading him books, and he kept kicking my arm for some reason. It started to hurt after a while, so I asked him to stop. When he didn't, I threatened to turn off the light and make him go to sleep if he did it again. As Matthew is wont to do, he thought about it for about half-a-second before kicking my arm one more time. Trying to be a good parent by following through on promises, I turned off the light and headed out of the room, with a teary-eyed, pleading Matthew calling after me as I did. He was tired, so he fell asleep pretty quickly.
One of the amazing things about kids that age is that they quickly forgive, but apparently they don't forget, and despite what you think sometimes, they do learn from their mistakes. I was already on my way to work this morning when he woke up, but Karin told me that the first thing out of this mouth when he did was, "I was mean to daddy." He must have been thinking and dreaming about that all night. Poor kid. Tonight, though, as I lay there reading him the same books, he started again with the kicking, but the moment I asked him not to, it stopped.
As a parent I've had to learn a new level of willpower - in a lot of ways, not just this one. I have a feeling I'll have to find yet another level soon, because three weeks from tomorrow our baby girl will be here, and I have no doubt that I'll be completely at her mercy if I don't.