Saturday, May 23, 2009

Best Discipline Method Ever

I have a subscription to a parenting magazine.  Why?  Who knows?  Certainly not because I'm interested in adding to my arsenal of tasty meals in 20 minutes, or potty training tricks and tactics.  It is because they are basically free, and students sell magazine subscriptions as fundraisers and when they hit me up I always order something, and this includes a parenting magazine because I am a parent, and I can't get over the LOW LOW price!  

Well.  This is all a waste of valuable resources and I will stop subscribing to parenting magazines for the same reason that I will never again subscribe to a newspaper.  That reason being that I already know everything.  All of the information in the world handily beams itself into my brain (with a brief stop on my laptop screen on the way).   Once there I sort it into various compartments.  The information gleaned from parenting magazines goes into a compartment which long ago reached critical mass, so I'm ending it.

However, having said that, I have to admit that I've learned at least 2 things by reading these magazines.  The first is that cuts and abrasions do not 'need to breathe', that they need to be covered properly with a bandage to heal most quickly and effectively.  Please wash your abrasions thoroughly, add some Polysporin or something and then cover that owie up.  Don't force your skin to make a scab. 

The other important thing that I learned was in last months magazine in a Tips and Tricks section.  A mother of 2 boys said that when her boys fight she makes them sit on the couch and hold hands (silently) for two minutes!  Wonderful!  The punishment for aggression is not further aggression or isolation,  it is affection.  Does it work?  Yes.  Very well.  

Leif and Laika do not want a two minute hand holding session on the couch.  But every once in a while one of them will provoke the other to the point of attack and then someone will smack someone in the belly or the nose and then next thing you know they are listening to a younger, infinitely more innocent Michael Jackson singing 'Ben' and are no longer just holding hands, but are laying on one another wistfully ruminating on the loneliness of a pet rat who feels that he's 'not wanted anywhere'. 

Here then, is a photographic image in which I have captured the technique in action. 
Sidenote: Laika lost the shirt about an hour prior to the disciplinary event.  

Babyhood is like so '08

Tineke is now old enough to play with toys!  She sits on the floor and carefully empties out a box of toys and then bangs them around, and turns the box over and tries to climb on it.  These are all obvious signs of a superb intellect.  The best thing about it is that the kids are learning to treat her like an equal instead of a little creature.  The worst thing about it is they sometimes offer her toys which are inappropriate (not in subject matter - in relation to the size of her trachea).  What a little pumpkin.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009


 . . . and Laika is not frightened of anything anymore.  She is thrightened.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Things are Going Swimmingly

In January neither of my big kids would willingly let water touch their faces.  Shampoo time either elicited screams or came slowly after much negotiation and compromise.

Their first round of actual swimming lessons went fairly well, and because they felt pressured by an instructor, they SORT of did everything that was asked and Leif only cried once during class.  He also tried using the word 'unregister' quite frequently, as in, "Mommy, I need you to 'unregister' me from swim class, because I really don't enjoy swimming.  And I'm not going."  This was usually accompanied by tears.  

Though there was a lot of stress involved with getting the swimsuits on and everyone out the door, both children were always elated by the end of the class and the change room would be filled with the sounds of Leif singing these strange Italian sounding songs that he would make up.  They were victory songs I guess.  They were very proud of their progress and so was I, so I registered them for a second set of lessons at a different pool where they would be in the water for an hour.

What a difference half an hour makes!  The time to play and get comfortable help a lot, but the real change came from having young and playful instructors.  Most of their instructors are University students who are happy, energetic, and know that this is a short-term gig and so they are having fun with it.

By the third lesson Leif and Laika were bobbing underwater for fun.  They go down the slide for fun, pick things up from the pool bottom for fun and try to swim, for fun.  Now I have kids that actually enjoy the pool!  I could not have done it on my own.  I could not have poured water on their heads, or pushed them under to pick up a ring, or stepped back as they came flying into the water, but I'm so glad someone else could.  Now I can't wait to go snorkelling (in warm water) with our little fish.  Mission accomplished.

It's Not Free!

One day in April Grandma and Laika sat in the chair for about half an hour and Laika was shown how to stick her tongue between her teeth and say, "THree"  instead of "Free" when describing her age.  She loved her newfound ability to say 'three' and uses it as often as possible.  When we meet people in an elevator she tells them how old she is, when we see objects in the world she counts them loudly and passes 3 with pleasure and ease.  However, she also says this, "One, Two, THREE, Four, THIVE . . . "

and when you describe something as being 'Free' you are corrected.
Because it is pronounced "THree".

Now here is a little Laika (not yet 2) standing in a box that is 3 feet tall.