Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Power of Speech

Thank you to Amalah and Mimi Smartypants! As a result of reading Amalah's blog with a reference to Mimi Smartypants' blog, I got a parenting tip that avoided 3 whole Anna-tantrums today. OK, are you ready for the big tip .... make it talk. Yup, that's it. Make whatever you want your child to do talk. It really works.

[The scene is set -- 8:58 am, Anna is still in her pjs and wants to wear them to school. She needs to be ready to go out the door in about 7 minutes. ]
SIF: Anna, let's get dressed.
ANNA: No, I don't want to. [tone starting to change to the whining tone that makes my hair stand on end]
S: Come on, you need to get dressed to go to school.
A: NO!
S: [remembering the sage Mimi Smartypants advice] Look Anna [holding up Dora the explorer underpants], Dora wants to say something to you. [In a high squeaky voice] Hi Anna, I'm Dora. I want to ride around on your bottom and go to school with you today. Come on Anna - put me on!
A: [tantrum rage instantly subsides, and a giggle starts to form] Mamma, what else does Dora say?
S: [after getting over the initial shock of how easy that was] Anna, I want you to put me on and then I'd like you to put your stripey shirt and tights on.
[without any more fuss, underpants, tights, shirt all go on]
S: Anna, let put your dress on. Look, your dress has little doggies on it. Do you know what this doggie says? Woof woof! Anna let me go to school with you today! Please please please!
A: [giggles, and puts the dress on]

AMAZING, I tell you, absolutely amazing. And the talking underpants weren't a fluke. It worked again at lunch time and again at bathtime [although, the bathtime "talking" involved some humiliating imitations of the Little Mermaid's singing].

I wish I could find something like that to solve Elsa's poor sleeping habits. Thankfully, I finally kicked my nasty houseguests to the curb -- SEE YA SUCKAHS! I hope we have no more visits from Messrs VB and ED. So, Elsa's back to her relatively cheerful self. But, she's been having bouts of extreme grumpiness. And I think this is due to the fact that she's cutting a molar! What??? The child only has 4.5 teeth (2 on the bottom, 2.5 on top)! But, the other day I noticed that she had an area on her gums, toward the back, that was really red and swollen. At first I thought she might have scratched it somehow, and it was infected. But, upon closer inspection, and finger probing on my part, I think is it a darned molar. How crazy is that? So, after being sick and having a bunch of teeth take forever to come in, Elsa is not, I repeat, not sleeping well. I've just spent the last hour and a half doing some controlled crying to see if I can't get her to fall asleep on her own. Crying it out is really an option of last resort on my part -- I find it extremely difficult. Let's hope she'll stay alseep. Fingers crossed.

PS: Anna has started calling her stuffed animals, and me, "darling". Yesterday, when I asked her to come to the table for dinner, she responded: "Just a minute, darling."


Maggie, Nick, Kate and Liam said...

Ok - so Nick and I totally tried your "talking underwear" trick today. Kate has been having some potty accidents and we decided her undies would tell her that they preferred to stay dry. Kate listened rather attentively as her panties told her "Kate, please keep me dry today! I don't like it when I get tinkles on me". Nick and I looked at each other - excited that it seemed to be working. Then our daughter looked at us, rolled her eyes in HUGE exasperation and informed us in a sixteen year old voice 'Mooooommm, Daaaaad. Don't you KNOW that panties. Don't. Talk?!!!!!"


But then she still wondered what her shirt had to say - so who knows?!

Mama T said...

Well. I am amazed. This morning, after trying unsuccessfully to get Clara to put away her Memory Cards so that Pippa wouldn't chew on them and so that we could get on with our day and go to the Market, I tried your trick. And Clara was stunned into silence (a feat rarely achieved these days). And then, while she picked up AND put away every last memory tile, she said "who knew these memory cards could talk?!". Yay! Thanks so much for the tip, via Amalah.