You don’t say!
May 22, 2013 by jcarsen
May 20, 2013 by jcarsen
Today I was blowing raspberries on Nicholas’s belly as I was getting him dressed.
I was prepared for the delighted giggle and enthusiastic tugging of my hair as I bent over him. What I was not prepared for was him swiftly raising his legs and pressing both tiny feet with surprising force against my windpipe. For several embarrassing seconds I couldn’t extricate any part of myself from the situation.
Babies: They win us over with their cuteness, but sometimes they also triumph through sheer brute strength. Anyone who disputes the idea that each baby is a miracle has obviously never been bested by one in changing-table combat.
May 15, 2013 by jcarsen
May 8, 2013 by jcarsen
May 5, 2013 by jcarsen
May 2, 2013 by jcarsen
May 1, 2013 by jcarsen
April 26, 2013 by jcarsen
Today’s guest post comes to us all the way from Australia, courtesy of Janet Matthews – a mother of two who runs a carpet cleaning business with her husband, Carpet Cleaning Melbourne. She enjoys a good book, lazy Sundays, and figuring out ways to manipulate her kids into behaving.
All kids love coloring in – it’s something built into them from when they are born. I’ve yet to meet a child under 7 whom I couldn’t keep occupied for an hour with a coloring-in book and a stack of crayons. This was particularly true of my daughter when she was around that age. She’d spend hours and hours coloring in pictures of all her favourite cartoon characters.
She eventually got tired of the books and moved on to drawing on other things. You know, the typical stuff: tables, walls, the driveway out front…and, probably worst of all, the carpets.
It was around that time that I noticed something else kids are really good at…
Even more so than coloring in, lying seems like an inbuilt function for kids. Of course the experts will tell you that kids lie because of a fear of punishment. I’ve always thought it more likely that they just lie to try and throw you off their scent. Anyway, back to the story.
So one afternoon I come along only to find a picture of a girl and a boy holding hands drawn all over the wall (in water-soluble crayons, thank heavens). Just below the wall on my beautiful carpet I see a mish-mash of green crayon. I calmly called my daughter over:
Me: “Louise, do you know what happened here?”
Louise: “Ummmm, Jake did it.” [Jake is my son, who is well past the drawing-on-walls stage]
Me: “Really? Because I don’t think Jake draws like this.”
Louise: “Yes, I saw him do it.”
Now, many parents believe anything their kids tell them, but I’m not that naïve. I come out with the only thing I can think of:
Me: “Really? Well, that’s it. I have to call the police. This is the last time he will get away with this. Hopefully, they can come by soon to arrest him.”
Me: “Do you know where the phone is, Sweetheart? Because I want to call them right away.”
Louise: *more silence*
Me: “Oh, I remember – it’s in the lounge room. Now I just need to find the phone number for the police station.”
This goes on for a minute or so before:
Louise: “Mommy, I did it… I drew on the carpets and the walls.”
Me: “WHAT!!! You did it? How could you? I thought it was Jake.”
I then went on to explain how drawing on the walls and lying are both bad – and that she could get into big trouble if she continued doing either one.
Now, some might call me mean, but I’d say in the end the result was beneficial for everyone. She came to learn that there are serious ramifications for doing the wrong thing. I got clean walls and carpets again. But beyond all the biggest gain from all this was that I got a great story to tell, and something for my husband and I to laugh about for a few years. We’ll probably even bring it up at her 21st birthday party.
So – what devious ways have you used to get your kids to behave?
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April 25, 2013 by jcarsen
When I went to pick up Lorelei at daycare yesterday (Eric was on Nicholas duty; we swap off the task of separating the wee ladies’ man from his favorite teachers in the infant room), her teacher had a story for me: Apparently Lorelei had told one of the other teachers that Lorelei was up in her bedroom, and there was a thunderstorm, and a scary man came in and chopped her head off!
Lorelei was smiling a rather devilish smile the whole time, so I don’t think there was any genuine fear there, but we can’t figure out where she came up with all of this. We don’t watch a lot of violent TV that she might have accidentally wandered in on. I don’t employ graphic imagery when she’s helping me out in the kitchen (“And then we chop off Mr. Scallion’s hairy head!”).
We have done the thing with the copious dandelions in the yard that kids have been doing since before I was little – “Mama had a baby and its head popped off!” – but even that, disturbing though it may be when you step back and think about what you’re saying, seems a bit of a stretch. And I’m pretty sure that Elmo hasn’t come out with a new series of snuff films.
The best I can figure is that kids that age just have crazy imaginations. Which is both good and bad. (To wit: Lorelei has recently expressed an inexplicable yet seemingly bona fide fear of the elderly, claiming that “they eat people,” which has led to some awkward encounters in the checkout line at Trader Joe’s.)
April 24, 2013 by jcarsen