Reverse Psychology

30 06 2009

When does reverse psychology stop working? When it does, we’re in trouble.

Here’s an example. Tonight, Alex (also known as “bipolar boy”) was in one of his fragile moods. We had a great time playing baseball outside, but then he fell apart when I said it was time to go inside for a bath.

I tried bribery. “Alex, if you promise you’ll take a bath without fussing, then we can go out and have a popsicle first.” He promised, and he was happy outside, and we got into the bathroom without fussing… but then he fell apart again when I put some more hot water into the cold bath water that was left over from Patrick. “NO! I DON’T LIKE HOT WATER!” he yelled.

At this point, I needed a break and I handed him off to Molly. He was calm when I left, but when I returned five minutes later, she was already done with his bath. He was out of the bathtub, wearing only his pajama top and a diaper, and crying uncontrollably because the bath (Which he didn’t want to take in the first place!) was over. Apparently hitting mama with the octopus contributed to the bath’s early end. Bipolar Boy was wildly kicking to keep Molly from putting on his pajama bottoms. I wasn’t able to make any more progress. All efforts to get him dressed met with more forceful kicks.

That’s when I pulled out my last and most powerful parenting trick. I looked at Molly and said in that adult-talking-to-an-adult tone of voice, “OK, I don’t think we should let Alex wear any more pajamas.”

Click! Just like that, Bipolar Boy wanted his pajamas on. For the rest of the evening, he was smiling and laughing as he played his favorite game: Doing the opposite of what daddy says. For example, “Alex, don’t say ahh so I can brush your teeth. Stop it! Stop saying ahh! If you keep saying ahh I have to keep brushing!” This lead to lots of laughter and some very clean teeth.

Yup, when this trick stops working, we’re going to be in trouble.

In the field

Bipolar Boy in the Seattle Arboretum.

About those kids

29 06 2009

Aunt Becky leaves tomorrow. Everyone will be sad to see her go. She and Cousin Will got here on Friday, which is the traditional Movie Night with Alex, and also the night of the week we’re most likely to leave him with a babysitter. Perhaps that’s what inspired him to tell me last Friday, “I want you and mommy to go out to dinner and I’ll stay with Aunt Becky.”

As tempting as that thought was, we didn’t take him up on it.

Patrick and Will were best buddies during this trip. When they were chauffeured around, they were looking at each other in their car seats: We turned Patrick’s seat to face forward after his first birthday, and Will rides facing backwards. This turns out to be a great arrangement for carrying on extensive baby conversations. I’m sure the incessant “ba! ba! da! da!” will ring in Molly & Becky’s ears for a while.

Speaking of baby noises, Patrick’s developed a new habit that I hope he doesn’t pass along to Will: Screeching. He does this when he’s happy and he gets this big smile on his face, so it would be really cute if it wasn’t so loud. I really should get this on video sometime. Until then, you can use your imagination. Remember the Ringwraiths from the Lord of the Rings movies, as they fly through the skies on their dragons? That’s what we live with every day. (If you really want to hear a racket, drop by when Alex decides he wants to screech with Patrick. They feed off each other.)

Here’s a mid-screech picture:

Splish Splash!

The Other One

24 06 2009

My mom told me today, “You know, I kind of remember that there was another kid living at your house. Whatever happened to him?” Geez, everybody’s a critic.

Patrick at the Spice Rack

Patrick’s doing well. I think he head-faked us about walking soon; for the past week or two he hasn’t shown much interest in standing on his own, much less taking any steps. He’s just happy to keep crawling around.

If Patrick was the first child, I’d be anxious about him walking “on time” and eager for him to achieve this next developmental milestone. But he’s the second child. I know he’ll figure out how to walk eventually, and until then, I’ll enjoy not having to run after two kids.


23 06 2009

Alex has a new obsession. Or more specifically, he’s got an old obsession that he’s taking to new heights. Literally. The kid likes to jump. He’ll jump off curbs, from two or three stairs from the bottom of a staircase, from the top of play structures. So far he hasn’t come close to injury, but both Molly & I lose about five heartbeats of life each time he does it.



22 06 2009

Guess what movie we watched on Movie Night last Friday night?


Playing with Trains

18 06 2009

Playing with Trains, originally uploaded by B.K. Dewey.

What is it with little boys and trains?

Seattle Summertime

17 06 2009

A good rule of thumb is summer in Seattle starts on July 5th. That’s when our driest, sunniest, and warmest weather starts.

Well, after an uncommonly cold early spring, we’ve been treated to an uncommonly warm & dry late spring. Today was the first day in 4 weeks we had any precipitation at all, and it was just a few sprinkles. That means we’ve had to start watering our plants a lot earlier than normal. And as you know, nothing brings a three-year-old more joy than to go outside and water plants.

It’s just usually not the plants that get wet.


Patrick’s Latest Trick

8 06 2009

I’d be remiss if I failed to post photographic evidence of Patrick’s latest trick.

Patrick’s First Birthday Party

7 06 2009

We had Patrick’s first birthday party today. It started as a remarkably low-key affair. The birthday boy was asleep for the first hour or so of the party, and for a while the most rambunctious of the guests watched Madagascar downstairs. That gave the grownups and the more mellow children time to enjoy a nice brunch upstairs.

Eventually, Patrick woke up and the party got a little more lively, but never quite to the “pure chaos” level. It was quite an enjoyable affair, actually, even for the birthday parents.

I wish I could say the evening was as pleasant! Getting both kids loaded up on sugar and having them both skip afternoon naps turned out not to be a winning strategy for a stress-free day. Alex was a particular terror at dinnertime/bedtime. The poor kid was so tired that we got him to bed and sound asleep around 7:00, something unheard of since he was closer to Patrick’s age.

Of course, we have photos from the event…

May iPhone Wallpaper added

5 06 2009

I added photos from May to my iPhone wallpaper collection. Click here to see the whole collection.