Himself is in the kitchen with crazypixie keeping her entertained by reading the local TD’s latest newsletter out loud in various ‘funny’ voices. I walk past every now and then muttering obscenities about the lying feckers (politicians, not wonderful family) under my breath.
It’s made me think about the things we grown adults do to keep our little ones occupied, enable them to fall asleep and prevent meltdowns.
In the past year some of the tricks we’ve learnt are:
- Kiddies Cd played at full volume in the car enables crazypixie to fall asleep. This particular Cd contain such classics as ‘I can count with my fingers’, ’10 elephants came out to play’, ‘Alice the Camel’, and most annoying of all, ‘One, two, three, O’Leary.’ There is no switching back to the radio once she’s asleep, oooh no, she can sense that and is instantly awake. We’ve emerged from the car after three hour drives totally stupefied and fit to strangle any happily singing kid that comes within our reach. But, hey, crazy pixie gets her nap and arrives at our destination all smiles and sweetness.
- ‘Row, row, row your boat’ sung a double chipmunk time will comfort her back to sleep at night. Sing too slow and she’ll scream the house down, hit her preferred speed and the thumb goes in the mouth, she rolls over and nods off. It usually doesn’t take more than half an hour, and if you rub her tummy clockwise at the right tempo things are speeded up.
- Giving away my credit cards to total strangers ensures the crazypixie stays amused during shopping trips. Whether in the sling, the buggy or a shopping trolley once I produce my wallet she has to have it (in the ‘I’m going to scream until I’m sick unless you give it to me’ way). Then she might chew on the leather for a while before she goes about getting it open. The credit and loyalty cards are the removed one by one and either flung on the ground when mummy has her head turned or handed to total stranger with a smile and a ‘ta ta’.
- Predinner meltdowns (when mummy hasn’t got her ass in gear in time to feed the hungry child) can be averted by pouring rice crispies onto her tray. She eats them individually so providing the window of opportunity for mummy to come up with some culinary delights.
- In desperation, when all the ‘row, row’ rowing has not worked she’ll happily sleep parked under the extractor fan in the kitchen. So environmentally friendly, I know.
People (you know the finger wagging kind) might tut-tut that we are ‘ruining’ her and that ‘she’s the boss’ and they may have a point, but I’ve realised that we just have to do what we can to help her cope with her frustrations, and us with ours, and there are times when being parent involves thinking like a toddler.