It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Snip, snap, snippets

“I can’t DO it!”
“Of course not. Not if you’re standing on it. Get off the puzzle, and then you can do it.”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”
“Nigel. You can’t grab the teddy away from Anna. That makes her sad. Please give it back.”
He hands it back, giggling. Hmph. We could do with a little empathy here. I point to the teddy in his hands. (Yes, he had a teddy when he yoinked hers. He’s a toddler. They do shit stuff like that.)

“Is that your teddy?”
“Yes!”
“You like to play with it?”
“Yes.”
“Well, I’m going to take it away from you.”
“No!”
“Yes.” And I do. The lip comes out. Tears bounce up. “How do you feel, Nigel?”
Silence, as he glares reproachfully at me and his bear.
“Are you sad? Are you mad?”
“YES.”
“Well, that’s how Anna felt when you took her bear. Anna was sad and mad. It’s not funny to be sad and mad, is it?”
“No.”
“All right. You can have your bear back. Now you know that Anna was sad and mad, just like you. Next time, you won’t take her toy, right?”
“I won’t.”
Good.

BAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAM … “SSSSQUEEEEEEAAALLLLLL!!!!!!!!”
“Hey, you three. You may run in the house, but you may not scream.”
“But it’s a scary game!”
“You may run in the house, but you may not scream.”
“Yeah! I’m the princess!”
“She’s a scary princess!”
Well, I understand that. I find them kind of disturbing, myself. But you don’t see me pelting around the house, screaming.
“If your game makes you scream, you have to play a different game. You may run in the house, but you may not scream.”
They pound off, screamless, into the kitchen.

“It’s MY bowl! I am making SALAD!”
Anna fends off the vulture from her “salad”, a collection of wooden blocks in a metal mixing bowl.
“I want to make salad, too!” Malli’s voice is a mix of cajoling and dominatrix. She does that very well, but Anna is having nothing to do with it.
“I want to make salad by MYSELF!” Ooo, good communication, girls, but then Malli lunges to grab, so I intervene.
“You know what, Malli? A few minutes ago, you wanted to look at a book by yourself, and I told Anna she had to leave you alone. Now it’s your turn to leave Anna alone.”
“But I would like to make a salad.”
“You can still make a salad. Would you like another bowl?”
“Yes!!” Jumping up and down and clapping, her face a beacon of delight. “I can make a salad with Nigel!” igel joins in with the jumping and clapping. Oh, the hair-trigger emotional flip-flp of the toddler, how I love it. Sometimes.
“Yeah! We can make a salad for the guinea pig!”

CLANG-A-CLANGA-DANGADANGACLANG, CLANG!!!! BONGG-G-G-G-G-G….
“Nigel. Good heavens. Stop beating the bowl with that block. It’s hurting my ears.”
“But I am stirring my salad!”
“There is no salad in that bowl. Put some salad in first, and then stir.”
“Okay.”
Subsequent stirring is a rather pleasing series of rhythmic wooden clicks and clunks.
Phew.

SSSSHHHRRIIIEEEEK!!!
“Oh, Emily! Are your fingers stuck?” I released the poor dented digits from the craft storage drawers and pull the traumatized tot onto my lap. She subsides from shrieks to sobs.

“Oh, poor sweetie.” I drop a kiss on the blue imprint lined across all four fingers. The other children watch with wide eyes. I see Timmy is clutching a fuzzy blue pipe cleaner, meaning that he, too, has made an illicit raid on the drawers. Must nip this in the bud.

“That is why,” I explain to the encroaching masses, “you do NOT open the drawers.” Yes, indeed. The craft cupboard forbidden zone has NOTHING to do with mess, mayhem and lost supplies. Nothing to do with adult need to know where my damned stuff is, to not be stepping in sparkles or tracking glue across the kitchen floor. Or glue AND sparkles! No, no. None of that. It’s sheerest concern for their well-being. Indeed.

“If you play in the drawers,” I drop another kiss on top of quietly whimpering Emily’s head, “you might get hurt, just like Emily. I don’t want any of you getting hurt!

I lean forward, take the pipe cleaner from Timmy, pop it back in the drawer. And shut it.

“So from now on, only grown-ups open these drawers. You do NOT touch them. Understand?”

Solemn nods all round.
There. We’ll see if that takes. Is it wrong to hope that the next one who tries it will also pinch their fingers?

“Oh, Emma! Emma! Emma!”
“Yes, Emily?”
“Someday I will go POO!”

Let the bells ring out.

January 31, 2008 Posted by | aggression, Anna, Emily, Malli, manners, Nigel | 1 Comment