Friday, December 20, 2013

7QT (Vol. 67): Advent, Toothbrushes, and Reverse Discipline

We don't really do Santa in our home. Peter recently saw someone dressed as Santa and wondered why anyone would wear clothes like that. "Well, he's dressing like Santa Claus. That's one way we remember St. Nicholas and all the great things he did for people. At Christmas, sometimes someone dresses as Santa Claus and gives gifts." "Oh! Mommy, at Christmas, I will dress as Santa and you can dress as... an elephant." I think he thinks it's like Halloween.

Speaking of elephants, we have a shelf of Things Anne Can't Have in our living room. While cleaning recently, I saw this guy on it.
I tossed it back on the floor, since she's not likely to hurt herself with a rubber elephant. Peter came in shortly later. "Mommy! You knocked over my Advent decoration!" "Oh, sorry, put it back up." "Yes. It's purple, for Advent."

That elephant was a gift from our dentist. As you would expect, they also gave us toothbrushes, one for each child even though only Peter had an appointment. They were functional, but cheap, and started to wear out in about a month. When we went to buy new ones, I noticed that Oral-B sells toothbrushes for different ages (that also have Pooh characters, big selling point for Peter!). Generally, I'm skeptical of things marketed towards kids, but... Pooh Bear. So we bought them. Best toothbrushes! The one for Anne has short bristles for her tiny baby teeth and a rounded head that doesn't poke her. Peter's toothbrush has a much smaller head than any other child brush we've used, which has made it so much easier to brush his teeth without making him uncomfortable. We're hooked.

Peter was irritating his sister the other day and absolutely ignoring me. "Peter! Stop it!" "Mommy, do you like it when I scream?" "No." "Then why do you scream at me?" "I wasn't screaming, I was using a louder voice because you were ignoring me when I used a regular voice." "How about you use a nice voice and I will listen." Another good reason to use gentle discipline. He is willing to be gentle with me.

Peter sometimes has a tough time choosing healthy ways to express anger. I've been encouraging him to "sing out the angries" or dance them out or whistle or hug or whatever. Anyway, we were running late recently (a frequent occurrence, if truth be told). Peter was dancing around his room in his underwear, not complying with my requests to stand still and put on pants. "Peter. Come. Here." He scampered over. "Here, Mommy. Here is a nice, sweet hug to get out all your angries. Now do you feel better?" "Yes. Thank you, honey."

Of course, he's not perfect. I was playing with them both earlier this week and Anne abruptly started to cry.
me: Anne, what's wrong?
Peter, in his "squeaky Anne" voice: Peter just bited my finger!
me: Peter, don't do that. That hurts her.
Peter: Her finger was in my mouth.
me: Next time, take it out. Or ask me to.
Peter: There wasn't any time.
Jeremy: There is always time to not bite someone.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas next week. Anne's birthday is also next week, so with all the festivities I plan to enjoy my family and not do much blogging. God bless us, every one.


  1. I love #4. Peter sounds like such a riot. :)
    Merry Christmas and happy birthday to Anne!

  2. I love Peter' gentle parenting tips AND the "isn't time" to report sentiment. I love it!