Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Care and feeding

My Mom always told me that she had to handle me and my sister very differently. If Deborah had a doctor's appointment, it was fine for my Mom to tell her the day before or even the day of. But me? Evidentally I had to be told well in advance, and reminded as it got closer and closer. It wasn't that I minded going to the doctor (or whatever appointment it was); I minded my schedule being suddenly disrupted. It made me feel very out of control, and I tended to dig my heels in a wee bit.

Nate is very, very into challenging me. Loves it. His eyes get bright and shiney when I say "no" to something. He hears it, looks at me with barely undisguised glee, and very deliberately does the thing again. And again, if he can get away with it. Most frequently, this involves throwing food off of his tray, throwing blocks at my head, or touching the electrical sockets (despite the baby-proof coverings).

Sometimes I'll plant my body in front of the thing (stairs, or electrical sockets) and just wait - he comes full-tilt at my body and tries to move it. If I'm standing a few feet in front of the desired thing, he tries to dodge around me. It's good training for his basketball career, and he has the tenacity of a dog after a bone.

Yesterday I figured out that if I say "no" sharply, but then look away from him (so we're not doing the "challenge stare-down") he doesn't do the thing! And instead of telling him "don't throw that", a command that he seems to adore and interpret as "please throw that harder", I'm telling him to please put the block on the ground. In a tone that suggests it's the MOST FUN THING TO DO EVER!!

Both are working pretty well. I feel like I successfully taught my dog his first trick. I feel power! I have manipulated a 14 month-old!

Go me.

1 comment:

crazedmommy said...

Oh how every word you says rings true in my home.

Such a fun age...such a frustrating age.