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?


No comments:

Post a Comment