I know…I know…playing tricks isn’t nice…
…but this is really pretty benign – academic, even! – and this mama is not above trickery.
Once upon a time it seemed like a novelty for the girls to clean up their toys in the den. They loved “helping”, and life was good. The novelty of that wore off after a while, though, and I had to get inventive.
My next stop was to ask the girls to play “teacher”. “Can you teach Abby and Lily [the girls’ dolls] how to stack the dishes in the kitchen?” “Can you show Abby and Lily where the books go?” Granted it took longer when the girls had a baby under one arm, but they were the cutest little instructors, taking care to make sure their babies understood what to do.
That tact still occasionally works, but not always. I guess Abby and Lily have a pretty good grasp on the basics of cleaning, and unmotivated students can make for unmotivated teachers.
My newest trick involves counting. “Let’s put the blocks in the bin,” and I’ll start counting, “One-two-three-four,” as I put each block in. The girls can’t seem to resist. This often evolves into a near-shouting match as the girls scramble to count how many blocks they’re stowing away.
I’ll encourage them to count how many things they can pick up to return to the toy shelf. “One-two-three-four-five…Mommy, I have full hands!”
Score! A math lesson AND a clean floor…I love it!
As we’ve been practicing with the girls on their tricycles this week, I again employed my counting trick.
The girls were pretty good with the peddles after the first day, but they didn’t seem to want to peddle for very long. I don’t know if it’s just hard work for them…or the lure of fallen leaves that Need To Be Crunched is just too strong…but they would go five feet or so, and then hop off.
I knew they needed to get a real feel for distance before they could really start to enjoy their trikes. I tried saying, “Let’s go check the mailbox!” which I think sounded like so much fun, they wanted to run there instead.
Finally, I said, “Let’s see how many times you can peddle!” I started counting each time they pressed their foot forward…and viola! Baby A took off pretty quickly thereafter, such that I lost count. I counted up past 100 with Baby B before my tongue got tied.
I’m sure I’ll have to find another trick at some point, but I’m going to count this as a success as long as I can!