Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A bath with elephants

Negotiating with a 2 year old brings out creativity and also really bad ideas.  As the sun sets and G’s mood declines, I bring out the deals.

Me:  G, are you ready for bath time?
G:  NO… *shakes heads, rubs tired eyes*
Me:   Do you want to take a bath with elephants?
G: *long pause….. Nods his head YES*
Deal.   We walk toward G’s room with large, booming steps and we pretend to have swinging trunks.  Dad from the other room says “Good luck with that.”

To continue the elephant theme, I search “elephant bath” in my You Tube app. 
A 200 pound baby elephant makes a big splash in a water hole.  And so does the little guy in a bathtub who just watched the video clip.  Wet tile. Wet drywall.  We need another towel. 
I make a quick segue to a Lion King song. Hakuna Matata sounds safe.   

G and I barter for things.  G runs around with a phone charger in hand. My eyes scan for a worthy object to make a trade.  I present a desirable green combine to G and ask “trade?”  He agrees, and we make the exchange. 
Not all trade bargains go through.  I’ve been declined several times when my end of the deal looks dull.   
Yellow measuring cup.
Black spatula.
Paper Airplane.
 “No No,”  G says and trots away from the kitchen.
This week G and I return books to the library. G runs to the children’s area where he sits at a table with primary-colored chairs. 
This visit was meant to be a short one, but G doesn’t want to leave.  A diversion of carrying a book to the front area leads to success.  Then G quickly runs back to the children’s area where the coloring pages and crayons sit. 
After a few minutes I ask “G, would you like to carry Cat in the Hat to the librarian?”  This time it’s true success.  G carries the stuffed toy to Pat and we exit with library book in hand.   


It’s a Caldecott Honor Book called Green Eyes by A. Birnbaum.  In this book Green Eyes the cat frolics through the seasons. He recalls favorite experiences from each season, from climbing out of his box in the spring to playing in the cool grass in the summer. 

The author illustrates animals (Cows, Pigs, Hens!) in thick black outlines.  My favorite page shows fall, “where the leaves turned red and brown
                  to the
The seasonal references, colors and repetition in this book are features I like.   This book might be a good read when G gets a little older.  Old enough to not throw fits.....all the time. 

My G tantrum-defraying tactics also include advance warnings, repetition and simply asking “Do you want to go outside?”
Our morning routine includes telling G several times “Mommy is going to work in a little bit.”  Mealtime includes “No, Ouchy that hurts the table” when G bangs his spoon on the table.  Repeat sentence five + times. 
Repetition is annoying for us parents. Dad says “ok, I think he heard you” after my fourth “G we are going to take a bath soon”.   But did G really hear me?  What is going on in this toddler mind?  I’m not sure.  It’s a fun age.  (An exhausting age that tests my patience)
Shortly after G dumps a handful of spaghetti on hardwood floor, he gets the broom and “sweeps” noodles around. I immediately say “Ok, let’s go outside G” 
And my helpful child agrees.  Outside is fun.  Not as many rules.  No need for negotiation.
Do you have any negotiation tactics that work in your house?


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

a big TWO years old

Dump Everything.  My little G turns a big TWO years old later this month.   I scurry this week to celebrate (in construction-style) and remember this time in our lives. 

G words that make us smile:

  • Bombine.  Broken.    (Grandpa fixes a combine in the driveway)
  • Tank you  (Thank you)
  • Pweas  (Please)
  • Awww Choo (pretending to sneeze)
  • Trackter    (Tractor)
  • Babhoe  (Backhoe)
  • Wagon
  • HOT Fwwwww Fwwww
  • BOOM  (thunder)
  • Un….Tree (One Two Three)
  • All gone
  • Ryan (G’s buddy at our sitters)
  • MilllllK
  • Baaaa Bye Momma

G likes to help. He mimics me, a lot.  Saturday mornings find us cleaning.  I run the vacuum and G pushes a dry mop around the house.  He thinks this is fun, bless his heart.   One dust rag for momma; one dust rag for G.
Do we clean the house twice as fast?   Ahh.. no.  But if I catch G pushing his small table and chairs across the house and pretend mopping where it once stood…  I chuckle.

G makes us do that a lot.  Smile.  Laugh.  Dad asks me the other day, “Why are you throwing G’s sippy cups in the trashcan?” and I say: “I’m not doing that… Hmmmm.”  We both look at G. 
I stamp the missing coffee carafe lid mystery… SOLVED.  I give up hunting, and call Cuisinart customer service the next day. Sifting through things thrown away becomes a new habit. 
G shows interest in gardening.  Small yellow hoe in hand, he helps me attack and pull weeds.. and also the flowers.  “No G, don’t pull THAT one.”  I quickly replant the white Iris and give the soil a good pat. 

G laughs  when:
  • Dad challenges him to a staring contest
  • I step, push and bounce on a shovel to dig a hole in the garden
  • We eat corn on the cob and make funny faces
  • Dad tunes into the opera radio channel, and we lip-synch 
  • We wear colanders at hats

In the past year G learned to walk, run, jump and dance. 
G’s favorite activities:

  • Climbing the gravel pile
  • Riding in the tractor
  • Mopping with a broom  (all the time)
  • Drawing with chalk
  • Building Legos
  • Feeding cattle

Exciting new things G does:
  • Follows two part directions (as in:  G go get the truck toy and bring to this room)
  • Eats with a spoon and fork (mashed potatoes brings out the default finger pick up)
  • Gives his opinion (snack time,  book selection)
Speaking of books, I’ll tell you a secret.  I ordered three for G’s upcoming birthday:

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce.  Based on Academy Award-winning animated short film, this book was released recently in June 2012.  A terrible wind blows away Mr. Morris Lessmore’s personal library, and he find meaning in caring for the books.  I haven’t read any of these books, but I think this will be my favorite because it’s filled with literary and film references (and I think the front cover rocks)
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards))
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems.   I immediately love the oversized, old-fashioned lettering on this book’s cover. Leonardo is a terrible monster who is not that good at being terrible. He’s not big, doesn’t have hundreds of teeth, and isn’t even weird.  He decides to find the most scaredy-cat kid and “scare the tuna salad out of him”. 

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog another one by Mo Willems. When Pigeon finds a delicious hot dog, he can hardly wait to shove the entire thing in his beak.  But, then he sees a hungry duckling who wants a bite. Who will be the more clever bird?  The reviews of this book sold me.  It’s a favorite by many who commented.

I plan to pick my favorite book out of the three and write a special letter for G in the front cover.  I can’t wait for these reads to arrive. I can’t wait for his birthday.
I especially look forward to reading these books to my TWO year old.  What books are you reading?