Yes, you read that right. Jonathan has an 'altitude'. Regularly. Especially lately. He takes on an attitude, er altitude, whenever he wants to one up his brother. I'm assuming that lately that's because his brother seems to be accepting more and more responsibility around the house and doing more and more to help, so Jonathan is feeling a bit left out. As in not a contributing team member. So you ask, why doesn't he just pitch in and join the team??? Ah, the questions we ask as parents, eh?
So... Jonathan's 'altitude'. *sigh* It would seem that I can hear myself saying "Jonathan. Your attitude is not helpful, uplifting or decent. Please don't say another word until it is." And then, because he must have a hearing problem, that phrase is usually closely followed by "Jonathan. You have an attitude that you need to let go. Not another word." And as you can imagine, I can repeat that over and over again until he does keep his mouth shut or change his attitude. I find that repeating it while walking him to a time out spot away from everyone else and his precious legos/bionicles can have amazing results.
But lately, I've discovered the power of peer pressure. Even if the peer is only three feet tall, it still works wonders. From the kitchen I can hear Laura's indignant voice say "Jonathan! You have an altitude! You need to change it!" at least two or three times a day. It is usually followed by "You have an altitude!" several more times along with some voice raising from the intended altitude dude. I've learned that should I hear it more than two or three times, my appearance would be a good idea before something more happens. And, at this point anyway, that usually does the trick. Jonathan changes his 'altitude', Laura quiets down knowing she's successfully been in charge if only for a moment, and life returns to its normal, relatively quiet din.
Yes, 'altitudes' can grow around here if left unattended. Periodic reminders are necessary for all of us so we can truly live by the Lord's directive in Deuteronomy 6 - Do what is right in the Lord's sight, so that it may go well with you. Snotty, know-it-all, tattletail, one-up-manship 'altitudes' aren't included in that directive. Isn't it amazing what Laura's learning at 3 years of age? Now, if only she'd remember it when it is her 'altitude' that needs some adjustment!!! Yes, I know. I dream big. But then that's how I came to find myself home with all of them in the first place. :)