24 April 2007

Just Call Me Barnabas

8:00 am, Thursday morning

Me: OK, sweetie, time to get up.

Katrina: I'm tiiiiiiired.

Me: I know, darling, it's hard to get up. But we need to get ready for school. Time to go potty and get dressed.

K: I don't need to go potty!!

Me: You need to try when you get up in the morning. Come on...

K: (much mumbling and complaining and dragging of feet)

Me: All right, sweetie, time to get dressed. Let's chose your clothes. How about this?

K: I don't want that.

Me: OK, then what do you want?

K: I don't know. I'm tiiiiired.

(after a few minutes of high-level negotiation, we come to a solution that satisfies both parties, but not without my patience running thin)

Me: All right, time to put on your panties. Can you do it yourself?

K: (whining) I need heeeeelp.

Me: Oh, you can put them on yourself. You did it yesterday!

K: No, I can't! I need heeeeelp!

Me: (steaming) All right, come here. (helps her get dressed)

8:00 am, Friday morning

Me: Time to wake up, sweetie, and get ready for school.

K:I'm tiiiiiiired.
Me: I know, darling, it's hard to get up. But we need to get ready for school. Time to go potty and get dressed.

K: I don't need to go potty!!!

Me: Oh, that's right, you're too little. You don't know how to go potty by yourself. Wait just a minute. I have to finish making my coffee and then I'll help you, 'cause you can't go by yourself.

K: (sits up immediately and smiles)

Me: (leaves room)

(I putter in the kitchen, listening to K running to the bathroom, washing hands, running back to her bedroom. I walk back to her bedroom.)

Me: What?! You went potty all by yourself?! I can't believe it!

K: (grins like she put one over on me)

Me: But I bet you can't get dressed by yourself. No, you're too little. Hold on, I need to go do something in the other room, and then I'll help you, because I know you can't get dressed all by yourself. (leave room)

K: (closes bedroom door, gets dressed by herself, runs into the kitchen grinning)

Yes, that's right. My child is best motivated by trash talk. I wonder why I never read about this method in a parenting book?


Dave said...

Even though I'm not a parent, I am familiar with that special sense of satisfaction that comes from outwitting a small child. Reverse psychology is a huge ally.

Matt said...

Aw c'mon, you were at my wedding, and heard Steve's toast. I guess it's a family trait to be motivated by being told that you can't do something.

wendy said...

I know I'm not a parent, but my philosphy on parenting will be the same as Survivor; Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Jennifer said...

Ha! I'd like to see a Survivor challenge making the contestants get a preschooler or two ready for the day. One strong-willed preschooler can be more devious and stubborn than all of those pretty 20-something contestants whining about not getting enough rice.

Matt, I was indeed at your wedding, and I bet I even heard the toast. But whatever he said has been wiped clean from my memory. Probably replaced with the entire contents of "Hop on Pop" or something. I do remember wanting to pitch a tent or something and look at that view forever.

Dave, yeah, reverse psychology works well with Katrina. That is, until it doesn't. Then the screaming begins (uh, her screaming, of course. me? I would never scream at a small child. :) )