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News from the Nest: Living with a preschool sheriff

Sometimes, I feel as though I've taught my kids too well.

My little girl is fond of sweets; after all she is my child. One evening, I was feeding her chocolate pudding and as I was bringing the chocolate-filled spoon to her mouth I quickly pulled it back. She gave me a big smile, a giggle and then I brought the spoon up to her mouth and her eyes lit up as she took the bite.

Well, my four-year-old son, from here on referred to as "the sheriff," saw my actions. "Mom, it isn't nice to tease people," the sheriff sternly reminded me. So I told him he was correct and that I shouldn't have teased his little sister. I then proceeded to apologize to my one year old daughter, who only cared that in the end she got the pudding.

The next morning, I made my family pancakes for breakfast. The sheriff rarely finishes all of his food, and always needs bribing for the last few bites. The longer he is at the table, the less attention he gives his food. So after everyone else had been done with their pancakes for at least ten minutes, he still had three to four bites left.

He slowly choked down a few more bites and then said he had to use the bathroom. I checked his plate, and with one piece left, I figured he would be grateful to come back to the table and get the "okay, you can be done" from me.

Oh, but not today.

This time, he wanted to eat all of his food and was ready to lock me up when he noticed I ate his last bite. With tears brewing in his eyes he scolded me.

"It isn't nice to eat someone else's food, Mom," he said. "I was going to eat my last bite."

Again, I apologized and told him he was right and I was wrong to have eaten the last bite for him. Wow. If only he paid attention to me this much when I was trying to tell him how to do something.

From now on I guess I will be a little more conscious of my actions; after all, I am living with a sheriff.