Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Great. I Can't Tell Whether To Praise Or Rebuke.

You can tell that your kids are starting to think for themselves when they start doing the things you tell them, in ways that you would never have thought of. In a way it makes you want to say "My, what excellent initiative you have, now don't ever do that again. But I'm proud of you."

Well, the Adrenaline Junkie did something like this today.

You see, we've been trying to get her to take good care of her glasses. They are, after all, her most expensive possession. And to her younger brother--who's currently teething out his last set of molars--they look particularly edible.

Naturally, we've been trying to get her to put them away when she's not using them. Trouble is, "away" is often an amorphous concept when you're only three. Besides which, the spot that Mommy and Daddy use as "away" for the glasses is high up on a bookshelf, so that the Happy Boy (who's not much smaller than the Junkie--and catching up fast) can't get at them. You can't just leave them on a table somewhere, as the Boy is almost as avid a climber as his sister.

Well, earlier today the Junkie decided that she was done wearing her glasses for the moment, and she wanted to put them away. Here's the trouble:
You see that little tiny pink thing on the top shelf of the bookcase? That is the case for her glasses. That's where we keep them when not in use. And Mommy wasn't around at this particular moment in time, so the Junkie decided to get creative.

Yup, she did. She used her climbing prowess to get herself up on top of that big wheeled thing with the rounded roof; then stood on that to get down her glasses case. She duly inserted the glasses in the case, then climbed back up to put them away.

How proud my Mommy must be of me! I put them away all by myself, without any help from anybody!

How simple life must appear when you're three. Yes, girl, we're proud of you. We like the fact that you thought, "I need to put this away now." And we like the fact that you're using your noggin to think a few steps ahead to come up with working solutions. Fair enough, you found a solution to this particular problem that actually works, and we give you your props.

Just don't do it again, m'kay?

But we're proud of you anyway....


Jeff said...

How about this as an alternative--praise her for being so thoughtful, then show her someplace else to put the glasses that little brother might not know about or figure out? Call it her "secret place."

Arby said...

Ditto Jeff

Jarrod J. Williamson, Ph.D. said...


Is that heavy bookcase mounted to the wall yet? Needs to be done anyway in case or an earthquake, etc. Get some brackets and mount them in a discrete place behind the bookcase.