Thursday, May 7, 2009


LE is learning how to count. We're all amazed. Okay, I know he doesn't really know what the numbers mean, but he's really into saying them, in both languages, with vehement preferences for one or the other language at any given moment.

Along with learning how to count has been the instatement of the Most Annoying Parental Trick in the World, the one-two-three approach to discipline. It's annoying because when you see other parents doing it, you think, "You damn idiot. Just yank the spoiled brat out of whatever he's doing and be done with it, quit annoying the rest of us."

But when the kid needs to be yanked out of somewhere gross, or forced to do something like rinse his hands, or things have be snatched from him about 40,000 times a day, and each of these times results in a fit and a sulk and making friends but still being oversensitive for the next two hours, you think about trying something else. Also at some point I got sick of wrenching my back every time LE had to be bodily removed from somewhere or something and he objected to this.

I was surprised how fast he caught on the one-two-three punishment. You think when someone can't talk they don't get much either, but sometimes they do. I explained it to LE once, that I would count to three and if he didn't cut it out he would be forced against his will to do so and Mommy would be mad. After the second time he got it. The one-two-three punishment is about 90% effective and there's a lot less screaming around here.

Yesterday at the produce market LE decided to do a silent sprawled-on-the-floor protest because I wouldn't let him rearrange the gum or get candy and by then he was already eating an apple he had stolen. It would have been a noisy protest but he had an audience and was feeling shy. The guys in his audience thought it was funny he was lying on the floor like that. I had my hands full of stuff and decided to try the one-two-three thing before dragging him out of there. I went, "One... two..." and the guy behind the counter went, "Tree four seven eight..." and LE went "Üç... altı... yedi..."

So that just totally didn't work at all.

No comments: