Saturday, July 13, 2013

What Part of "NO" Don't You Understand?

"You're very tall, Wallery."
Vocabulary is a wonderful thing.  When youngins begin forming complete sentences, their loving admirers are filled with pride and delight.  Then the sentences become grander; the words multi-syllabic and the content rich with ideas and cute nuances.  It's a wonderful time for all!
The Cousin's language has always been advanced in my opinion.  Her parentals read to her constantly and speak to her in full, grown-up sentences rather than baby goo goo's and gah gah's.
I'm certain she'll earn 100 of those ridiculous "My Child Made the Honor Roll" bumper stickers during her school career.

"It's time to clean up, friends."  
I say this about a fifty times in a day. Sharing the load and cleaning up what one takes out is big for these families. Well, big for the moms and dads, but for the girls, not so much.
I start singing the clean-up song...
"Clean up! Clean up! Everybody do your share. Clean up! Clean up! Everybody show you care."
It wouldn't be such a big deal for me, except they live in a 10 x 10 apartment and Sweet Pea has this lovely fetish, which brings her lots of satisfaction and laughs: She digs dumping all the toys out, throwing all the books off the shelf in one arm swoops and then taking out every puzzle she can find, all the while, mixing the pieces up. The awesome thing is, she has no intention of playing with any of it. She finds pure pleasure in the dumping and throwing.

"Let's clean up so we can go outside and explore!" My rationale is that the outside in nature thing might be a fairly healthy bribe.

This is when the rich vocabulary kick in.
"I'm busy Wallery. Right now, I'm very busy."
"I see that, but I need your help." 
"In a minute, Wallery. I am busy right now."

What could be more important than at least clearing a path to walk?
"What are you doing?"

"I'm putting sunscreen on my baby."

"Can you take that shit away from her?"

When children find their words AND discover their power...Look Out!
Take this kid for instance. She's recently stumbled upon her power and now resorts to
asserting it 24/7.

"Let's go change your diaper."
"It doesn't feel good to have a poopy diaper."

Now, we want little girls to grow to be strong women, dont' we?
Of course we do, but Sweet Pea, as recent as last week, just found her voice and it's a one-word sentence. And damn-it, she's going use it like there's no tomorrow.

Now, if you're a parent, you know what I'm talking about. That resonating, firm, defiant one-syllable word that comes flying out of their little mouths at the most undesirable times.
But hey, we taught them it, right? Jimmy's running into the street, "No, Jimmy. Come back here!"
Betty Sue takes the candy from Louise, "No, Betty, that's Louise's candy."
And in the case of The Cousin and Sweet Pea, well, The Cousin has been saying "NO!" to Sweet Pea her entire life. Sweet Pea has learned from the best.

"Sweet Pea, it's time to clean up. I need your help."
"What part of "NO" don't you understand?"

I come from the hippie, old-school way of talking with children.  "Positive reinforcement" was the buzz word back in the day. Rather than say, "Don't put that cup on the floor." We'd say, "I like it when you put the cup on the table."  Or instead of, "Do not hit your cousin!" We'd flip it to a positive and say, "It's nice to watch you be gentle with your cousin."  
Sometimes, a negative does slip out.  I mean, imagine in this situation calmly saying, "I'd really like it if you'd remove that flaming cigarette from your mouth."

As you know The Cousin will have a baby brother or sister arriving, special delivery, in October.
The preparation for this arrival started months ago.  I think everybody's a bit worried about the baby surviving a choke-hold in the first week.  In order to prepare The Cousin, they've bought her babies to take care of, read her numerous books on how special baby brothers and sisters are and are even including her in the name of the child.  Her aunt recently took her to a parent/toddler class.
These classes have a variety of subjects; sometimes, there's "Kids Jam" sometimes "Story Hour" and this particular one was all about "Baby Siblings". 

When I asked if she wanted a baby brother or sister, she said, "I want a baby brother, Wallery." 
Perhaps the decision was made after she played with this anatomically correct doll at the toddler class.
"Look! Momma gave birth to E.T."
Getting kids outside frees their souls.  When I was a kid, we always played outside. We'd play kickball in the street, ride our bikes until sunset, build blanket forts in the backyard.  It was safe 'back in the day' and I have so many awesome memories of those outside times.  Very little structure.  No need for much discipline by adults.  We kids worked it out.
There's something so important and fundamental about children playing together in the great outdoors on a regular basis.

"Outdoors language" requires very little discipline, very little adult control.
It's pure and unfiltered glee. Cooperation is on overload.

Well, that is until it's time to leave...



1 comment:

  1. What a fun, upbeat, truthful blog. Makes me wonder what these two will retain about their "special nanny, Wallery", and the experiences they shared. Week to week, they are filled with surprises, and nobody....nobody....will have better(and more interesting) memories of 2013 than Sweet Pea and The Cousin....unless, of course, it's the nanny herself!