AN ANTIDOTE TO CHAOS- Rule 5
Do Not Let Your Children Do Anything That makes You Dislike Them
All the kids would get together at one house. Then one pair of parents would go out to dinner, or a movie, and leave the other pair to watch children, who were all under three. One evening, another set of parents joined us. I was unfamiliar with their son, a large, strong boy of two.
“He won’t sleep,” said the father. “After you put him to bed, he will crawl out of his bed, and come downstairs. We usually put on an Elmo video and let him watch it.
“There’s no damn way I am rewarding a recalcitrant child for unacceptable behavior,” I thought, “and I’m certainly not showing anyone Elmo video.” I always hated that creepy, whiney puppet. I didn’t say anything, of course. There is just no talking to parents about their children- until they are ready to listen.
2 hours later, we put the kids to bed. Four of the five went promptly to sleep- bit not the Muppet aficionado. I had placed him in the crib, however, so he couldn’t escape. But he could still howl, and that’s exactly what he did. That was tricky. It was good strategy on his part. It was annoying, and it threatened to wake up other kids who would then start to howl. Score One for the kid. So., I journeyed into the room. “Lie down”, I said. That produced no effect.
“Lie down or I will lay you down.” Reasoning with the kids isn’t often too much use, particularly under such circumstances, but I believe in fair warning. Of course, he didn’t lie down. He howled again, for effect.
Kids do this frequently. Scared parents think that a crying child is always sad or hurt. This is simply not true. Anger is one of the most common reason for crying. Careful analysis of the musculature patterns of crying children’s have confirmed this.
Gently. Patiently. But firmly he got up. I laid him down. He got up. This time I laid him down and kept my hand on his back. He struggled, mightily, but ineffectually. He was, after all, only one tenth my size. I could take him with one hand. So, I kept him down and spoke calmly to him and told him he was a good boy and that he should relax. I gave him a soother and pounded gently on his back. He started to relax. His eyes began to close. I removed my hand.
He promptly got up to his feet. I was impressed. That kid had spirit! I lifted him up, and laid him down, again. “Lie down, monster,” I said. I pounded his back gently some more. Some kids find that soothing, He was getting tired. He was ready to capitulate. He closed his eyes. I got to my feet and quickly to the door. Again, he was on his feet. I pointed my finger at him,” Down Monster,” I said, and I meant it. He was down like a shot. I closed the door.
“How was the kid?” his father asked me when he got home, much later that night. “Good,” I said.” No problem at all”.
“Did he get up?” said his father.
“No” I said.
Dad looked at me. He wanted to know. But he didn’t ask. And I didn’t tell.
Don’t cast pearls before Swine, as the old saying goes.
|Trail||a mark or a series of signs or objects left behind by the passage of someone or something., eg. “a trail of blood on the grass”|
|jet lagged||extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across different time zones.|
|contempt||the feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration.|
|vociferous||expressing or characterized by vehement opinions; loud and forceful.|
|egalitarian||believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.|
|plausible||seeming reasonable or probable. Eg. “a plausible explanation”|
|proliferation||rapid increase in the number or amount of something.|
|Holocaust||destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war.|
|recalcitrant||having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline.|
|deceptive||giving an appearance or impression different from the true one; misleading.|
|archetypal||very typical of a certain kind of person or thing.|
|anthropological||relating to the study of humankind.|
|primatologist||Primatologists study both living and extinct primates in their natural habitats and in laboratories by conducting field studies and experiments in order to understand aspects of their evolution and behaviour.|
|homicide||the killing of one person by another|
|exacerbate||make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.|
|starkly||in a way that is severe or harsh in appearance or outline|
|incisive||intelligently analytical and clear-thinking.|
|ornery||bad-tempered or difficult to deal with.|
|stymied||prevent or hinder the progress of.|
|degeneration||the state or process of being or becoming degenerate; decline or deterioration.|
|tricks up my sleeve||A secret plan, idea, or advantage that can be utilized if and when it is required|
|aficionado||a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject, or pastime.|
|swoop||move rapidly downwards through the air.|
|walloped||strike or hit very hard.|
|bemoans||express discontent or sorrow over (something).|
|guillotine||a machine with a heavy blade sliding vertically in grooves, used for beheading people.|
|encumber||restrict or impede (someone or something) in such a way that free action or movement is difficult.|
|grudge||a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury.|
|varmint||a troublesome and mischievous person, especially a child.|
|provocative||causing anger or another strong reaction, especially deliberately.|
|Insomnia||habitual sleeplessness; inability to sleep.|
|Grail||(in medieval legend) the cup or platter used by Christ at the Last Supper, and in which Joseph of Arimathea received Christ’s blood at the Cross. Quests for it undertaken by medieval knights are described in versions of the Arthurian legends written from the early 13th century onward.|
|denizens||a person, animal, or plant that lives or is found in a particular place;inhabitants|