K: “No, you can’t put the timer in the toilet.” It seemed such an innocent; such a benign statement at the time. Me: “No Kirsten, you can’t put the timer in the toilet.” K: “That’s too dangerous.” Me: Yes. That’s too dangerous. You can’t put the timer in the toilet.” We went round-and-round like this for months. Until… the toilet didn’t flush so well. Exactly. Everybody just take a deeeeep breath.
Me: “Kirsten, what happened to the toilet?” K: “I don’t know what it is?” (Her favorite stop-asking-me-questions response). Make eye contact this time. Me: “Kirsten. What – happened – to the toilet?” K: “No, you can’t put the timer in the toilet.” Really? R-E-A-L-L-Y?! Me: “Kirsten, why did you put the timer in the toilet?!” This is where Kirsten’s receptive language issues are to her benefit. She has yet to figure out the meaning of “why.”
One dismantled toilet, a coat hanger, and a few hours of delightful father-daughter bonding time and we again had a functioning toilet. Lesson learned: When Kirsten repeats something… pay attention.
Fast forward a couple of years…
K: “No, you can’t put the blow dryer in the water. That’s too dangerous.” Seriously?! You know that sound a submarine makes when it goes on high alert? I swear that was playing in the background. I calmly get the words out, “No, you can’t put the blow dryer in the water. That’s very dangerous. Never, never do that.”
When this conversation continued for several days, I knew it was time to pull out the big guns.
K: “No, you can’t put the blow dryer in the water.” Me: “No Kirsten. You can’t put the blow dryer in the water or you will turn into an ANGEL.” You should have seen the look of shock on her face! Her rapid response, “Kirsten’s not an angel! She’s tooo little!! No, you are NOT turn into an angel.” Me: “Then don’t put the blow dryer in the water.”
Kirsten, being the bright girl that she is, immediately brought me the blow dryer declaring, “Hide it! Hide the blow dryer!!” and so I did. The next few months were spent with Kirsten convincing me that she was MUCH too little to become an angel. My thoughts exactly.
Your turn! What tactics have you used to keep your child safe?