This is my husband's go-to phrase when he wants to distract our children in order to steal food off their plates, talk about them behind their backs, or go in for a surprise tickle.
Sure, he could simply say, "Look!", while emphatically pointing in the opposite direction, but wolves are so much more distracting.
We could use some distraction this week.
With Christmas a mere 16 days away, as my son so enthusiastically told me at breakfast this morning, we're beginning to see his level of impatience rising dramatically.
Our elementary school has a tradition of offering a craft fair for students where they can shop for gifts costing anywhere from $.25 to $5.00. I LOVE this idea. My two have their own money saved, and are using it to purchase Christmas gifts at the fair. Just the other night, I sat down with Harper to help her write out the names of each family member joining us for Christmas so she could budget her $20 and get a gift for each one.
She came home after school carrying her backpack, lunchbox, and two shopping bags filled with goodies.
Plopping her purchases in the living room, she prepared to show us what she chose for everyone - except me and Zane, of course. Our gifts were hustled upstairs to be hidden in her room.
And at that . . . realizing that Harper wasn't going to give him the gift RIGHT THEN, Zane went on a Christmas Tantrum bender. Rage, tears, moans and growls. The finale? Running up the stairs, and a perfectly executed slammed bedroom door. It was impressive. I'll give him that.
"BUT, I WANT IT NOWWWWWWWWWWW!
"Mom, I got Zane chocolate covered pretzels. Can I just give them to him?"
"No way, Harper." I didn't go into how that would just reinforce the behavior, yada, yada, yada.
Footsteps. Zane was now in her room.
Harper took the stairs two by two (good God, please don't trip and break your arm again), and then I listened to them as they, ahem, worked it out.
"Get out of my room!!!!! MOOOOOOOOOM!"
"GROWL, SCREAM, BAM, ARG, AHHHHHHHH!" Or whatever. It was messy.
I remained downstairs waiting for back-up.
The heated skirmish was actually over fairly quickly. Zane and Harper rejoined me downstairs - Harper rolling her eyes, and Zane still sniffling a bit, but noticeably more calm.
"You OK, buddy boy?"
"Yes. I just want it to be be Christmas. Bad."
Here's the part where I now admit something that will completely surprise you: I have a few PRE-Christmas surprises hanging around the joint.
Tiny wolves - like tracing paper for art projects and puzzles.
Both items kept the kids at DEFCON 1 for the remainder of the night. Side by side. Zane, tracing photos of lions, and both working on the puzzles. Together.
All talk of what Harper had gotten Zane for Christmas was gone.
Tonight, as we trimmed the tree, both kids exclaimed what they yell every year, "This is the best tree EVER!" (It really is.) And then Zane, Mr. I Want To Open My Gift Now, put the perfect choreographed button on the evening with,
"Oh! Christmas is coming! There's a chance we MIGHT get presents!"
Sometimes, crying wolf ain't such a bad idea.