My blood pressure was rising as I couldn't find Jacob yesterday while he was playing outside. I've told him 100+ times that he must tell me where he is, or I start to get nervous. Finally, I gave up looking and decided I was going to punish him with really unpleasant consequences for the rest of the evening (no more playing outside or no tv- things he hates to lose).
I heard him coming in the garage door, and I was ready to unload the same lecture about telling me where he was. He was so joyful when he came in the house, this steamed me even more- thinking he didn't even care that he broke the rules. I had my "mean mom" face on when he walked into the kitchen. I didn't say anything. Then I noticed he was holding something behind his back. He had a huge, very proud, smile on his face. Then I said, "Where were you?" He slowly pulled these 2 beautiful flowers from behind his back, and held them out to me. In that moment, my anger melted away and I knew I could not yell at him for secretly getting me two of my favorite flowers. I gave him a huge hug, thanked him, AND then reminded him gently (again) about telling me where he was going. (No worries, the neighbor cut them for him and gave him permission to give them to me). I love that kid!