The New Deal
We're slowly but surely starting to figure this parenting thing out.
We've just realized that if we are CONSISTENT with Lucy, we get better results
We've just realized that if we give Lucy a head's up (Lucy, after this story, its time to go to bed, after you finish your cracker, we're going home, after you finish playing with that, it's so and so's turn to play with it) she deals better with transition
We've just realized if we make a deal with Lucy and shake on it, she'll usually hold up her end of the bargain. This might be my favorite tactic....
So our conversation will go like this:
Mama, I watch Scooby Doo?
Well, we have to have dinner and a bath....
No! I wanna watch Scooby Doo!
Tell you what Lucy, you sit down, eat your dinner and drink your milk. After dinner, we'll take a quick bath and watch 1 episode of Scooby Doo...and we can even snuggle in Mama's bed and watch it..
Lucy places finger on chin and looks up at the ceiling mulling it over....
Ummmm, dinner, Popsicle, bath Scooby Doo?
Yep, what do you think? Deal?
I hold out my hand to shake
Lucy, looking quite pleased with herself agrees
And we shake on it
And Lucy eats her dinner, has a Popsicle, takes her bath and watches Scooby Doo snuggled in Mama's bed.
Scooby ends and she looks at me and says....
I watch Yo Gabba Gabba?
Was that the deal Lucy?
No Mama! That not the deal.
What was the deal?
And with that, she hops off the bed and paddles into her room with me behind her
I'm totally digging this lets-make-a-deal-shake-on-it parenting method
Said in a falsetto sort of warbly wavy tone when Lucy sees Sean kissing me:
Said in a sweet high who-me tone when I discover something somewhere it should not be and question who/why:
I don't know Mama...maybe Daddy?
Said in a empathetic-I'm-sorry-you're-so-pathetic tone as I'm making my way to the car to leave for work in the morning:
You need another kiss Mama?
Said in a game-show-host-wheelin'-dealin'-tone when she wants something from me when she knows I want something from her:
How about we make a deal Mama?
The world is her stage
Sunday, Sean spent the day stripping the deck as it needs to be re-stained and my job (no way was he going to hand the pressure washer to me) was to keep Lucy occupied
So we spent the day running errands, banging on the sliding glass door and making faces at Daddy and about 40 minutes in meltdown mode (both of us)
One of the stops on our list was the grocery store
Lucy was being particularly impish, cute, and charming (which is code for she was slightly wound up but being pretty funny). She was sitting in the carriage, you know the top shelf part of the carriage, munching on her Ms and Blub Blubs (M&Ms and Goldfish Crackers) sipping her milk and making sure that Bear (her stuffed dog) and my purse were comfortable and that I got everything on the list she was clutching in her right hand.
As soon as we walked into the store, she screamed CHOCOOOLATE DOUNTSSSSS!!!! and was jabbing her hand at the display...scared the shit out of the 6 or 7 people milling around the display table
In one aisle, she was randomly pulling things off the shelf and declaring, as she dropped it into the cart behind her back, We need this.....and this.....and this....not this (and she drops that last item on the floor)...
A young couple with an infant strapped all metro sexually on the Dad was at one point amused and entertained by Lucy - by Aisle 14, they were looking at me with pity and at their child with fear....
In another aisle, she informed me that she had a vagina - at the top of her lungs:
MAMA!!!!! giggle giggle laugh laugh I HAVE A VAGIIIIINNNNNAAAAAA!!!!
Screeches of delight, laughter....giggles......and then a sing songy declaration
Vagina! Vagina! I have a vagina!!!!!!! Ta-daaaa!!!!
A few people grinned, a Mum with two young kids gave me a reassuring nod and smile, a couple (who I would guess to be in their 30s with no kids, jobs in the city and Acuras in the driveway) gave me that mortified control your kid look and two preteen girls collapsed in a fit of giggles
Then she broke out in full American Idol mode and started singing Beatles songs....she actually started singing Yo Gabba Gabba songs....one of which was the Goodbye song....which segwayed to Hello Goodbye by the Beatles...followed by She Loves You...followed by Help! and then somewhere in there was Yellow Submarine, Penny Lane and I think Eleanor Rigby.
Now bear in mind, she is not, of course singing the whole song but, she sings enough words, and has the melodies down pretty pat thereby making what she is singing completely recognizable
A couple, I think in their early sixties, was going through the store at the same pace we were and getting quite a kick out of Lucy and her shenanigans
At one point, I heard the husband say to his wife
I think she's singing the Beatles!
Don't be silly! said the wife. She's a baby, how could she know the Beatles
In the chip aisle, Lucy was singing with great gusto the chorus of Hello Goodbye when the couple passed us:
I told you she was singing the Beatles! declared the husband
Unbelievable! responded the wife. She knows the Beatles! She's singing the words
Pretty cool said the husband
At the checkout, Lucy was not so keen to give up the box of Nemo fruit snacks to Olivia, the cashier, to scan them.
Lucy, I said, Olivia has never met Nemo...do you think you could introduce her to your Nemo?
No thank you Mama as she clutched the box closer to her chest
Oh.....well, I guess that poor Olivia will now never get to meet Nemo...
Yes she can Mama! There more Nemos over there! she pointed in the direction of the snack aisle we had just come from.
She go get her own! This my Nemo!
OK well, here's the thing Lucy.....if you want to take Nemo home, you have to let Olivia scan him so we can pay for him....if Nemo does not get scanned, he can't come home with us
Lucy's eyes got really big and her mouth formed an Oh
Nemo no come home with Lucy?
He can Lucy, but first can you just give him to Olivia for a second?
Lucy handed me the box which I in turn handed to Olivia thanking her for her patience
Olivia scanned the box and handed it back to Lucy
Lucy murmured thank you and hugged the box to her chest
I let out a sigh grateful to have made it through that with no screams or tears
The boy bagging my groceries says to me
Is it always like that? Like do you always have to explain stuff and negotiate?
Yeah, I say, and it doesn't always work
That must suck he says
I sort of shrug my shoulders and Lucy lets out a screech just to let us know she's still there
Good Luck he says to me as he puts the last bag in my cart.......Good Luck.......
Maria, the Mum