Sunday, November 09, 2008

Do you believe in magic?

There's this episode of Caillou (and hey! thanks for that DVD, Gramma! NOT!) where his Gramma teaches him to do magic tricks. And so Munchkin now routinely holds her doudou out in the air, and asks Pynchon or I to crawl through it and hide under the table. Magic! (I guess you had to see the episode. I can have my Mom hook you up, if you want.)

Anyhow.

We had a bit of real magic over here tonight. Magic that turns tantrums into nutrition and good will! How'd we do that!?

Have you noticed that I've already posted twice this week about tantrums? Well, it's been that kind of week. And we were bracing ourselves for that kind of supper again, as we sat down to homemade veggie and bean fajitas. Munchkin had little fajita sandwiches with loads of cheese, and beans, and light on the veggies, just the way she likes them. She had sliced Granny Smith apple on the side, another favorite. And a banana. Well. She took one look and let it rip: "I DON'T LIIIIIIIIKE FAJITAS! I WANT CHEEEEEEEEEEESE! NO! NOOOOOOOOO! NO APPLES NO BANANA NOOOOOOO!"

We told her she didn't have to eat it, but that that was what we were having for supper. If she was all done, she could get down. In any case, the yelling had to stop. We were calm but immovable. She glared. She flailed. And then it went nuclear: she picked up a piece of fajita-wich right up off the plate, wound up, and frisbeed it across the dining room. It slapped against a baseboard, the shot heard round the house.

Time out. 2 minutes. In the high chair, in the kitchen. Mostly yelling for Mommy, and cursing the demon fajitas, while Pynchon and I munched in a necessary, if companionable, silence.

When the oven timer rang out the end of her sentence, I went to talk to her, about our ground rules for supper, about how yelling hurts our ears, and about how it is never okay to throw your supper.

Here's the magic part: she came back to the table, and ATE EVERYTHING ON HER PLATE. And asked for more apples! And made up a song about delicious fajitas! And smiled and was charming and pleasant. I mean, there were still big, fat tears pooling on her little toddler cheeks and she was working it like a (very hungry) borscht-belt comedian.

Time outs: I guess sometimes they work. WTF?

10 comments:

Omaha Mama said...

Huh.
I guess I should've kept that high chair around. Our little guy won't stay put in a t.o.
But he likes to yell it at his sister, as if he's putting her in one. Good times.

Glad the story had a happy ending, this time. ;)

Kyla said...

Dude. That's magic.

Beck said...

Ta DA!
My older two kids are actually VERY MUCH into doing magic tricks, and they're both REALLY bad at it. REALLY.

Assertagirl said...

Is it wrong that I laughed out loud while I read about the flinging of the fajita? Sorry, dude.

Cloud said...

Ah, the food flinging. Pumpkin isn't old enough to really fling it yet, but she does start systematically emptying her tray onto the ground if we aren't fast enough about getting her down when she wants down.

This has caused a couple of time outs at our house, too- our rule is that your chair gets pushed to the center of the kitchen while we ever so slowly clean up the mess you just made. I doubted my Hubby when he instituted this rule, but you know what- we get a lot less food on the floor now.

Bea said...

I refer to it as "going to the wall" - when the kid hauls out everything she's got and you grit your teeth and take no prisoners. I've always been amazed at how cheerful young children are after they've tried everything and thoroughly lost the battle.

Mimi said...

cloud: weird, that's almost exactly what we do, from the same first causes, and with the same ultimate results. weeeeeeird.

bea: kinda gives us all a lesson in moving on, letting it go, living grudge-free, huh? incredible.

ewe are here said...

Magic indeed.

I am in awe. Our timeouts rarely work out half so well.

kittenpie said...

I find whenever they realize they've gone too far, thye are totally charming afterwards. I always wonder why it has to get to tha tpoint first, though. Really? Do we NEED to do it the hard way? Apparently yes.

Patti said...

Yay! Congratulations! I'm not a parent, but my Dad always had a line about drawing a line in the dirt, and then watching your toddler flop their big toe over it, just to see what happens.

:)