Thursday, April 17, 2008

Go Get 'Em!

D: Recently there have been more and more tantrums regarding stolen goods between the Deuce. It usually goes something like this:

O finds a certain toy/ball fascinating enough to “ooh” and “ahh” over while often holding it up high in the air with great satisfaction. F wonders what all the excitement is about and firmly snatches it out of O’s hands. O screams bloody murder.

In this interaction there is no fighting. There is no retaliation. Just one child wanting what the other child has, and leaving the other feeling very defeated.

Obviously they are too young to be taught how to share and respect each other’s belongings. So, in order to avoid the shrill of the helpless screams we have devised a way to turn the toy-snatching into a game.

If we see a theft in progress and the ‘victim’ is about to break down, we say to this child “Go get ‘em!” and point to the assailant. The child with the stolen object will then turn in laughter and take off running, with his brother close behind. Once they catch up with each other and the object is then stolen back, we again say “Go get ‘em!” to the other child, which sends them both running after each other, giggling with glee.

This can go back and forth until their short little attention spans allow boredom to take hold and redirect them in different directions.

I’m not sure how long this will last, but for now we are left with amiable results and zero tantrums. For some reason I have a sneaking suspicion this tactic might not work so well, once they learn to tackle the other with force.


Posted by Walker Lockhart @ 6:09 PM :: (2) comments

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Eulogy for an Off Limits Zone

W: A couple of months ago we increased the kid-zone to include our dining room. It was a no-brainer for us - we were able to remove the gate, the kids got more space, and the dining room table became an instant "fort" for the Deuce.

The table also served another, more valuable service: D and I could put our stuff up there - cell phones, laptops, cameras, cups of coffee - and the Deuce couldn't reach it. Ah, but they grew taller, and their pudgy, probing fingers breached the perimeter of the dining room table off limits zone.

This resulted in an ever-narrowing zone that inched closer and closer to the center of the table. As of last week, the zone was all of 6 inches wide, down from 29.

That was last week. This week we suffered a complete and utter breakdown of the dining room table off limits zone.

I first became aware of the breakdown when I walked into the dining room to find F standing at the center of the table, a little toddler centerpiece. In a word, he looked triumphant, as we all do when we reach goals requiring physical fortitude. To celebrate he did his little "happy feet" dance that I taught him.

OK. So I admit, I was proud of the little guy, and as such, I let a smile show at the corners of my mouth while simultaneously giving him my new dad-disapproves-of-this-behavior look. All he saw was the smile, mistook it for approval, and did the dance again.

It keeps happening. If we leave the room for 2 seconds, the little guy is up on the table, passing our off limits stuff down to O like a bucket brigade.

Then the mystery yesterday - I walked in and F, happily smiling and sitting atop the table, this time holding my coffee mug...upside down. Quickly, I looked for spills - couldn't find any. Hmmm. Searched my memory - did I drink all my coffee? I'm still not sure, but he napped just fine nonetheless.







Posted by Walker Lockhart @ 10:33 AM :: (4) comments