Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Similes with a Smile

G, at age two, has an extensive vocabulary.  He also is my King of Similes. 

"Look, Mama! My toy is yike a can-dole!"
Yes, G, your toy is like a candle. 

A flexi-straw is "yike a dragon".  A tree is "yike a tree"--ok, that one isn't really a simile, since a tree IS a tree, but he is only two. 

The most confusing simile was at the Petersburg National Battlefield Park one weekend.  I was tying his shoe, my hair flowing in the breeze, when he told me, "Mama!  Your hair is yike a cheeseburger." 

A cheeseburger?  I must have heard wrong.  That made no sense!  I asked him, and he replied, "Yeah, it yike a Krabby Patty."

So much for poetic genius.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pee Pee Candy Negotiations

My mom is excellent at potty training kids.  She (and if I remember correctly, her sister) had a simple but effective reward system: 1 Skittle per pee pee deposit.  Yes, you read that correctly: ONE Skittle.  That's it. 

Mom used the system with us, with the kids she babysat for a living, and with her other eight grandchildren.  Today, you can find a jar of Pee Pee Candy on a top shelf of one of her cupboards.  Her youngest child is twenty-nine.  Our brother is reprimanded for swiping a handful.  "Just one!" she'll scold.  He's argued that the candies are for all the deposits since his last visit, but Mom isn't going for that. 

I think G is finally ready to potty train.  He's peed on the potty in the past, but now I'm ready to commit to the training.  He complains each morning that he peed in his big boy bed, and on his socks, and anything else he's wearing, even though his diaper hasn't leaked.  I take this discomfort as readiness to go on the potty.  I also am sick of buying diapers. 

So, yesterday I showed G the Skittles

"Look, Buddy!"

"Candy?"  G loves candy. 

"Yes!  If you pee pee on the potty, you can have one!"

He ran right to his potty chair, which he calls his bucket.  He flung open the top, gasped, and announced, "I get a candy!  I pee pee!"

We were going to need some clarification.

"No, Pal.  If you pee pee in the bucket, you can have one."

"There pee pee in my bucket." 

I looked.  There was a water spot from when I rinsed it the last time he'd peed--three months ago. 

"No, G.  That's old.  You have to pee pee now to get a candy now."

Later, he did pee in the bucket.  "Yay!  I get candies!"

"No, Bud.  You get one candy."

"No, I want much."

"No, G.  You get one.  Which color would you like?"  See the wisdom there?  By getting him to commit to one color, the kid gets one piece of candy, argument-free. 

"Orange."  Ha, I won.  "Put them in a bowl please," he requested sweetly.  I think he was hip to my "wisdom".  You see, when he's gotten Halloween and Easter candy, I put them in a bowl so the doesn't have to wrestle a wrapper.  Them.  Plural. 

"OK."  The trick to avoiding a fruitless argument with an unreasonable party is to remain calm. 
He accepted the bowl, ate the candy, and immediately returned to his bucket.  I honestly worried that he might give himself a hernia eeking out another three drops. 

"I did it!  I get a one-a-one [another one]."

I dropped another Skittle in his bowl.  Hey, the kid was building muscle control. 

When he peed this afternoon, he requested his bowl.  He received it, as pictured above.  No arguments, no fits.  Then, this evening, just before we brushed his teeth, he made another deposit.  I grabbed a green Skittle and he opened his mouth for it, like a little baby bird. 

Now, I am not going to foolishly declare victory.  No, that is what G wants.  He wants me to let my guard down, til he can con me into much Skittles at a time with his sweet "passive" ways.  I'm still on defense, calmly considering my responses before I make them. 

I truly annoys the piss out of me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

They All Do It

All kids try to cut hair.

Most cut their own.  I cut my poor cousin's.  It was her first haircut ever, quickly followed by a trip to a licensed beautician. 

When I taught seventh and eighth grade, I'd always preface any lessons that involved scissors with, "Boys and girls, we only cut paper.  We don't cut our hair or our friend's hair.  We don't cut clothes."  The kids would laugh at my silliness, but I can boast that I did not once, not ONCE, in seven years of teaching middle schoolers, ever have a student cut anyone's hair.  Not all my colleagues were so lucky. 

In November 2009, I posted this small album of Rocky the Horse after B gave his tail a punk layered look:

I foolishly thought that was B's only attempt at cosmotology. 

Tonight, the boys got baths early so that we could go to the High School and see a children's musical put on by the Fine Arts department.  As B's hair dried, I noticed it did not lay quite right.  Just as the play began, I asked him if he'd cut his hair.  He admitted that he had, during my nap. 

What happened neat was pure reaction. I told the truth.

"It looks really bad."

B's feelings were hurt. I was at a loss. Did he think it looked good?

"Did you use a mirror?"


"Did you think about it?"

"No. I just cut it."

Now I was dumbfounded.

"Well, why'd you do it?"

"I don't know."

After further interrogation, I can say with confidence that B truly has no idea why he snipped off a random section of hair. I think it was just impulsive snipping. All kids cut hair, though. I'm just glad that G has too little hair to damage.