And for once I was SuperMom

Monday, January 7, 2013


I looked up from the computer, Emma is detaching the crank from the window.  I'd already fussed at her all day long not to touch things, I didn't want to do it again.  I deliberated, she has a habit of ferreting away small objects, I could just picture needing to open the window and being reduced whirling dervish, throwing couch cushions around my living room, pummeling crevices, looking for that little piece of metal.  I watched her climb down from the couch with it,
"You know, it's important that we don't lose that," I threw it out there.  I had no idea if she understood me or not.  I turned back to the computer.  A moment later I looked up and she was plugging the crank back onto the window.
Are you kidding me?  That actually worked?  I about near peed myself.
A few months later I was reading an article in Parents magazine about getting your kids to listen to you and they cited this technique.  You give your child the information of why they shouldn't be doing something and then let them decide what to do.  I realized I had done this and felt veeeeery smug.

So a few days after reading the article we were in a burger joint.  Emma had stood up on her chair and was turned around and bouncing.  The exact behavior that the article had used to demonstrate this technique.
"Emma, chairs are for sitting," I said patiently.  She flipped around and sat down,
"Sorry," she said, with a slight giggle in her voice.  Well, looks like we're cooking here aren't we?

The girls were taking a bath together.  I had put Carys in her bath seat and retreated to a perch on the toilet to file my nails.  Don't judge, you've done it.  I looked up from my filing, Carys had scooted her bathseat as close to Emma as possible.  Unbearably cute, arms outstretched towards her sister she had slowly worked her way across the tub.  Emma jumped up, moved around so she was facing Carys' back, and then started to pour water on her devoted little sister.  Carys was not upset by this, but Emma was splashing it up on her head, and, really, dumping water on an infant is pretty rude.
"Emma, you know, you don't like it when I pour water on you when I wash your hair," I said.  Hoping she was developed enough to start to get empathy.
"Yeah, yeah," she nodded.  I looked back to down, scritching away at the corners of my nails.  When I looked back up Emma was again pouring water on her sister's wiggling back.
"Emma, it's not nice to pour water on someone," I said again, hoping to give her more information.  She nodded.  Scritch, scritch.  Looking back up, Emma was again pouring water on her baby sister's back.
"Stop it," I said.  She tossed the cup she had been using as her vehicle of attack and squirmed around in her usual dance of acquiescence.
So maybe it doesn't work all the time.  At least I have another tool in my belt of guidance.