Zion likes to roll around in the clean laundry when I dump it out onto my bed to fold. It drives me crazy, and he knows he's not allowed to do it. But he almost always tries. Today he was really testing my patience and thrashing and jumping and generally getting in my way, so I asked him to get off the bed. He didn't. So I shouted at him to get off the bed. He didn't, he just blew raspberries. So I really shouted and told him to get off the bed and into his room. He went, crying. I felt awful. 10 seconds later I heard him playing happily in there. Still, his recovery didn't change my bad behavior, so I finished folding his clothes and went in to talk.
We went over what he had done to end up in his room (jumping in the laundry, not listening) and then I told him that even though he was misbehaving I shouldn't have shouted at him like that and I was sorry. Zion looked at me severely.
"Yes, mama", he said. "What you should have done is said (insert very calm preschooler voice): Please get off the bed and go to your room. That's what you should have done. You say, Please get off the bed and go to your room, you do not start shouting like a jackass! Because we are nice people in this family and we do not shout and scream, unless someone is playing with a toy that you do not want them to have."
As his little speech progressed I resorted to snorting and hiding my face to keep from laughing. Luckily Zion didn't seem to notice, possessed as he was by the spirit of righteousness. When he was finished I agreed, and reminded him that even when someone has a toy we would rather she didn't play with we still shouldn't shout, but should use calm words instead.
Still, it's nice to know that he's listening, even if his application of the rule is rather lopsided, right?