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Archive for July, 2012

Impulse control.  Takes several years, sometimes lots of years, to master. Today’s challenge: Watermelon.

Watermelon is yummy, at least that’s what the entire Robinson household believes.  Especially Grace.

Today, Daddy sliced some watermelon up for lunch.  Grace was excited — almost too excited.  Well, definitely too excited.  Honey, I’ll put this at your place, but you need to wash your hands first.  What ensued was pretty distressing for all parties involved.

Crying.  Sobbing.  Yelling.  Tears splashing down her cheeks.  Those short huffs that chatter your teeth.  Red explosive face with all memories of watermelon (or anything positive whatsoever) destroyed. — What the heck is going on?  She’s washed her hands by herself a hundred times.

Grace, do you need Daddy to walk with you to the bathroom?

No change.  Just more yelling.

Honey, can you use words?  

No change.  Just more yelling.  Seems that I’m the only one who’s bothered by the noise.

Honey, I’ll put it right here on the table, so you can see it.  I’ll save it for you.  I promise I won’t eat it myself.  What do you have to do before you can eat it?

No change.  Might have turned it up a notch when she saw it.  No way I’m giving in now because volume shouldn’t earn watermelon.  Should I carry her to the bathroom?  — FINALLY, she walked several yards over to the bathroom and yelled all the way.  Mission accomplished?  Suddenly:

WHAM!  Ka-THUD.

Geez.  Looks like she got some payback on Daddy for being such a hard-ass on the handwashing thing.

I kept my cool.  Quickly walked down the hall and deliberately forcing my heels down, so she could hear the sound of me storming to the bathroom.  When I got there, I found that in anger, she’d slammed the toilet lid down on the seat and shattered the toilet lid.  How could 15 seconds of handwashing escalate to toilet busting?

Apparently, realizing the magnitude of her destruction, she shifted into quiet gear.  Although her shirt and hair were soaked with tears, the yelling had stopped.  I found her concentrating on getting that seat back on track.  Looks like her impulse control (or lack of it) had gotten the best of her.  Although I don’t recall this particular response, I’m sure I did the same or worse in the same “ill mannered” way.  

Grace, did you break this toilet?!  (as if Thor had thrown a lightning bolt while she was simply washing her hands.)  ….She nodded yes.  Honey, why did you break the toilet?  …No answer.  I repeated the question, but I still got a blank stare.

No watermelon, Grace.

Daddy, noooo. Complete with the tone suggesting that she’s the victim of an abusive and whimsical draconian decision.  Somehow I doubt this is the last I’ll hear of that tone.  I actually felt like the nuclear option of cancelling her swimming playdate with Ally, the neighbor across the street.  But, I thought about what Elizabeth “Bish-Bish” maintains about the punishment fitting the crime.  That said, what is the sentence for toilet busting these days?  

Grace, when Mommy gets home, you’re going to tell her that you broke the toilet.  — As if Erin needed clarification on why there was now a shattered toilet seat on the stairs.

Noooooo.  (yes, w/the exact same tone as before.)  I’m getting a lot of mileage out of full allocution to mommy.  Erin carries a lot of street cred, and even if she’s not around, Grace is fearful of such accountability.

Let’s go back to the table.  Do you want a pancake or peanut butter and pickle toast?

I want watermelon!

Grace, should I give you watermelon?  She nodded gently, yet firmly.  Obviously, at under 4 years old, we haven’t reached that level of introspection.  

Abby doesn’t say much these days, but she sure does take a lot in.  After seeing what had happened, she left her plate of blueberries and approached her sister.  She then proceeded to stick her finger in Grace’s belly button.  In our house, doing so makes one’s belly button buzz.  BZZZT!  Assuming that Grace was in no mood to buzz on Abby’s behalf, I buzzed.

To my astonishment, Grace stopped pouting and also buzzed.  Abby smiled and widened her eyes in delight.  Then Grace buzzed Abby back, which made Abby crinkle her nose up and laugh.

Thanks, Abby, for being the cute little sister with unconditional love.

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While Mama is off at Adventurer’s Camp having fun at Camp Trinity the girls got to hang out with Daddy, but then take a quick trip to Reidsville for the weekend. Much fun was had eating ice cream, watching movies and playing in the pool. Yay for Great Grandma Emmy, Great Aunt Jenny & Bish-Bish, and more fun is in store tomorrow!

Doing the happy pool dance!

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