It Must Be So Easy to Raise French Children
Today, I asked my three year old to put away her bowl and spoon.
"No" is what I got in return. That and these gems: "I'm not gonna." "La la-la la-la la, you can't make me." "I hate you." Lots of these responses came from an upside-down mouth, as she repeatedly stood on her head (on the couch cushions), and bounced up and down like a crazed squirrel.
There must be very few vocations that require as much on your feet creativity as parenting does: I had to work hard to come up with new and effective ways to get her to carry her bowl and spoon into the kitchen that did not involve using a choke hold, damaging my vocal chords, or promising her a pony.
It was not easy. 15 minutes of my life are now a foggy, misty blur because I sacrificed them to the intense concentration necessary to get what I wanted from her while avoiding the aforementioned prohibitions.
The bowl and spoon ended up where they belong, and I lost minutes off of my total life span for the grief and suffering I endured along the way. I have no memory of what finally did it, what wore her down.
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Cut to dinner time. Once again, dishes needed to be cleared away. It so happened that I served dinner to my three girls (it was a ladies night at our house) with a French accent. The three of them thought this was pretty funny, and kept asking for "That French Guy." Apparently, I can do french, but it's a masculine french.
Anyway, I braced myself for the clean up resistance, also known as the Toddler Liberation Front. But the most amazing thing happened. I made my request in a french accent -- "Pleeeeeze, put zee deeshes away in zee keetchin, mon chere!" -- and the previously recalcitrant three year old complied with glee. She even asked me to ask her to put something else away!
So I guess I will have to get used to sounding like a french dude, if I am to ever get what I want from her. Might be a little strange in public, but if we skirt the whole tantrum thing and I get to keep some of those bonus minutes at the end of my life, I'm all over it.
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