"Watch yourself," Joshua said when he rammed his tricycle into my ankles. I was standing at the back door, watching the two big dogs and holding the leash for the little one. They've been barking a lot, and running out of their yard if there was an animal or person in sight, so I've been taking a more active roll in their outside time to get rid of those behaviors.
This isn't my favorite time(s) of day, particularly when it's been so hot and so humid out. So, when my 3 year old told me to watch myself, my irritation levels rose a little bit.
I took my deep breath and reminded myself he's just trying out something new he heard me say. So, I decided to teach him what it meant; As in, the particular meaning I want him to have when he says it to me again.
The conversation went something like this.
"Watch yourself means to be careful. So what do you want me to do?"
"So what do you say to get me to move?"
"Um. Excuse me, Mommy."
"Oh, okay, Joshua. Thank you for asking so nicely."
I moved so he could role his bike out another foot and a half to be stopped by the grass. All he wanted to do was get in front of me so he could watch his puppies, too.