My 4-year-old has this odd habit. Sometimes when he goes to the bathroom to poop, he’ll start out at one toilet, flush that one after a while and then go to the other one to finish pooping.
So I get this half naked boy running from one end of the house to the other (because of course he has to take off everything from the waist down in order to poop – including socks), with a questionably clean bottom.
I then have to deliver the little wooden stool to the other bathroom mid-poop.
This is by far the most singularly quirky thing I have ever encountered. And the thing I fear happening when company is over.
And so, young man, I have but one question for you…
In God’s name, why???
They say it takes at least 10 repetitions in order to change a habit. Want to eat better? Stay on your diet for at least 10 days. Want to get into shape? Exercise for 10 days in a row, or assign yourself a time it has to happen, no slacking for 10 repetitions.
How is it that impressionable kids can take way longer? There’s something about certain habits that we try to break them of that just won’t tolerate 10 days, 10 reminders, 10 corrections. One of those things is biting, another is hitting and another is throwing food on the floor.
One always seems worse than the others when you’re in the middle of trying to teach them to stop doing it. We seem to have to repeat our corrections, our reprimands over and over and over again. It feels like some things just never sink in.
‘No biting mommy.’
‘No biting your brother.’
‘No biting the kitty’s tail.’
‘No biting books.’
‘No biting mommy’s phone.’
‘No biting the couch.’
I get the feeling he’s just eliminating each item in turn to determine if there is indeed something he can bite.
‘Here. Bite a dinosaur.’
… I never thought I’d give my child a chew toy…
I attempted to explain to my oldest son today the role of artists in everyday life. One of his favorite authors is Bill Peet and so I showed him all the books that he’d written and illustrated.
‘This man, Bill Peet, wrote all these stories and drew all the pictures in the books. He’s an artist, just like mommy. See how important artists are?’
Not quite the impact I was hoping for.
I’m trying not to take it too personally.
I know this will come along more often as they get older, but today was one of the few times when it’s worked out that the kids would play outside while I went in and started making their lunch.
We’d spent a lot of the morning outside. I did some weeding while they played, racing, digging, getting as dirty as possible. But what usually happens if I try to let them play in the back yard on their own is that my 2-year-old gets upset that I’m not within sight. This means he comes in crying after only a couple of minutes and his older brother is upset because he has no one to play with.
I couldn’t believe it when it had been ten minutes and I actually had to call them both inside to clean up and eat.
Please oh please let this be a new trend!
I don’t even care if they ‘accidentally’ dig up my strawberries!
If you have kids you’ve probably encountered the Little People vehicles that sing annoying little songs, spout random noises when left alone for ten minutes and have the worst lyricists writing for them. They use the same few melodies and put words to them that almost work, some of the time.
But I have a newfound tolerance for them. My 2-year-old was playing with one yesterday and just pressing the button incessantly to make it skip from one little cheery exclamation to the next and only hitting the first note of each song. It was a fire truck. Some of the phrases include, ‘F is for Fire Truck!’, ‘Let’s go fight the fire!’, and ‘Yeah! Let’s hurry!’
They seem to generate at random when you push the button. And when he made a certain sequence happen it just made my day.
Party prep continues today with cleaning up and organizing. As a wonderful bonus, I had babysitters for the morning so I could power through my tasks with reckless abandon.
So to kick things off, coming home from dropping off the kids, I shed my coat and immediately donned a fuzzy sweater. A normal act in wintertime, for sure, but as soon as I pulled it on and zipped the zipper half-way up, I rolled my eyes at myself and immediately got the Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood song stuck in my head.
I restrained myself from changing my shoes.
The really amazing thing is that I haven’t seen that show in decades.
Behold the power of PBS.
You know you’re supposed to be the best role model for your kids. You lead by example because you know that everything you do and say, they will imitate and then of course tattle on you. Much to your inevitable detriment.
‘Mommy said a bad word in the car.’
‘Daddy licked his knife at dinner.’
Okay, okay. So we don’t always live up to the highest of standards. This is when you implore them to do as you say and not as you do. A concept you can be sure they won’t understand for years to come.
Today was another prime example. I’m preparing for a birthday party this weekend and decided to do some of my decorating early so I’m not scrambling at the last minute. This decorating required the use of a ladder, thumb tacks and a hot glue gun.
I had them help me when and where they could, but of course most of the process was too, um, dangerous for them.
It occurred to me, as I was standing on a ladder in my living room, using a hot glue gun directly over my head, that this was probably not the best instruction to give my impressionable children. And then I had no choice but to stand on the countertops to reach what I needed to reach and I prayed that they didn’t take much notice of me.
Maybe some things are better left to do at nap time.