Tuesday, August 18, 2009

252 Times

About ten years ago I went to a parenting class. The man was supposed to be a great speaker with a lot of great ideas. I only remember one solitary thing from the class. Someone posed the question "What do you do when your child is whining at you, repeating the same thing over and over?". His answer was "All you have to do is quietly continue to do what you are doing, and ignore the whining." Sounds simple enough. But I knew from personal experience this didn't work. So I got brave and raised my hand and said, "But my little girl doesn't stop. She just follows me wherever I go and continues to whine". He said, "You just aren't giving it enough time. Here, let's give everyone an example." He then asked me to get up and role play with him, me being the whining child and he being the parent. I followed him around the room trying my best to imitate a whining toddler. He just kept walking around and I started to feel foolish, and I eventually gave up. He turned to me with enthusiasm and said "See!!" I wanted to tell him that a toddler doesn't have an audience of adults watching, nor do they have the social awareness to be embarrassed by their actions, thus the exercise wasn't really a comparable situation. But he seemed so pleased with himself and I was still feeling embarassed so I went and sat down.

Fast forward a few years.

This morning I dropped of the elementary kids at the bus stop and it was just me, Brookie and Colton in the car. Brooklyn had been happy, but something triggered her whining switch, and she began to say"I...want..my..daddy" "I...want..my..daddy" "I...want..my..daddy"
"I...want..my..daddy" "I...want..my..daddy" "I...want..my..daddy" .....

You get the idea. I tried many tactics.
"Brooke, look at the horses!" nothing
"Brooke, look at that purple car. How silly!" still nothing
"Brooklyn, where's your baby doll? Let's go home and get her dressed!" nada
and the gold star of parenting, "Brooklyn, do you want a treat when we get home?"

This girl was serious. And out of the blue, this memory of the parenting class came to my mind and I figured I might as well try. So I calmly continued to drive, trying to ignore the whining that was shooting directly into my right ear. I couldn't believe her stamina. I decided it would be fun to count how many phrases she could fit into one minute. It was an average of twenty one, depending on how long she dragged out the word 'daddy'. I have timed the drive home- it is twelve minutes. She didn't stop until we were in front of our house. So 12 x 21 is 252. She repeated herself 252 times. I've got to hand it to her. On some level, that is impressive.

But I would like to find that man and tell him that boy was he wrong.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ms. Schmidt

Crew has always had a difficult time with names. And he frequently gets words mixed up. It makes me laugh daily. Not in a "making fun" of way, but in a "I could hug you forever and ever" kind of way. A few recent examples:

Crew: Mom, I'm just going to pop (hop) over the fence and ring their ring-bell.

Crew: Dad, Meesha got out again today. Did you clob (clog) up all the holes in the fence?

Mom: Crew, don't go to first grade. I'll miss you too much.
Crew: That works out fine for me. I hate phonogram test-es.

Mom: This is Uncle Alan's car.
Crew: Uncle Alan? I don't think I've ever heard of him.

There are so many more, but I'm drawing a blank. But today was my favorite. It was the two little boys turn to go school shopping with me. (and can I just say, it is SO unlike me to leave this til the last minute....I mean EXACTLY like me....) I try and make it a fun day- we get lunch together and try and laugh and have fun. So we were sitting and eating lunch and this is the conversation:

Mom: Crew, your new teacher's name is Ms. Schmidt.

Crew: Sch.... what?

Mom: Schmidt

Crew: (thoughtful and slow) Sch....it..m (I'm so embarrassed to even write this! and of course Crew has no idea that this is a not nice word.)

Me laughing

Crew: Hopefully she'll let me call her something else. I don't think I can say that.

Unless things improve I hope they let him call her something else too!