Thursday, September 23, 2010

Master negotiator

This morning Alex had two pieces of toast with honey for breakfast. Then he asked for a bowl of Weet Bix. One bite into the Weet Bix and he wanted two more pieces of toast. I was reluctant to make them as I thought his eyes were getting too big for his belly so I said that once he had finished the Weet Bix, I would make the toast.

"No mummy," he said, remaining calm and rational (not the "noooooo!" whine I had expected), " I do need the toast to be in front of me at the same time as the Weet Bix. I just do."

I repeated that I didn't want him to run out of space and waste food.

"I promise you," he assured me, "It won't be wasted. Mummy, I still love you but I'm not happy about this. I really want you to make me the toast now. Please." I could see him mustering the strength to control himself as he looked at me plaintively.

I suppressed a smile and agreed to make the toast. I wanted to trust his judgement and reward him for asking in such a polite way instead of whinging. I figured if he then wasted the toast, my point about not wasting food would be made for future reference. But do you know what? He ate the whole thing.

Evidence-based approach

Alex is nothing if not concrete in his thinking. After breaking his leg and having it in a CAM boot for 3 weeks, I told him that he could bear weight on it as long as it was comfortable, enough to move around and walk a bit.

He refused. Getting out of the bath he would fold the leg up like a bird with a broken wing. He insisted on being carried everywhere or he would crawl. He was just too nervous to put weight on it. I told him the doctor said it was ok to give it a try, it would be healed enough to put some weight on it by now. If he didn't find it comfortable he didn't have to do it. He shook his head. No.

"I'll wait till we get the second lot of x-rays done today, and if it looks fixed then, I'll walk on it," he declared.

And so it was that I carried him in to the specialists appointment, into a full waiting room. We had another discussion while we were waiting about maybe trying to walk a bit into the doctor's room, to show him how much better his leg was. No dice. So I carried the 21kg+ of him (as I had been doing for three weeks) into the consulting room. I actually suspected he was more than capable of walking on it, at least a bit, but I knew better than to force the issue with Alex, and besides, publicly admonishing a boy with a broken leg to walk might have looked a bit suss. The doctor showed him the x-ray and assured him it was ok to walk on it.

Imagine the amusement in the waiting room when, ten minutes later, the boy who had been carried in, walked out (albeit with a slight limp, but full of confidence.) That doctor is a miracle worker!

Transformers defy logic - who knew?

Alex often contemplates the many absurdities of life, and, in his own time, poses a question aloud to which there really is no sensible answer.

Most recently, it was: "When a Transformer is a car, it's the size of a normal car because people drive in it. But when they turn into robots they are as big as buildings. How does that happen?"

Me: "...." (Firstly, he's never actually seen transformers as far as I know so how does he know this information? Must be from pre-school discussions. Secondly, 0_0)