Simple Assignment -- sort coins. Easy, right? Well, unless you’re Baby Girl.
We have a young puppy who occasionally pees in the house or tears something up. Not a huge deal. See how cute he is?
We have a very old dog who has started peeing in the house... not sure why -- seems like spite, but I'm a bit of a conspiracy theorist. Notice the missing tooth? He's old, but cute.
As a math assignment, Baby Girl was to sort coins into bowls. Easy, peasy for most kids. Four bowls, four basic coins -- penny, nickel, dime, quarter. We already had a pail full of coins to use. I got her set up and she was carefully sorting the coins appropriately into the bowls. It was going well. Much better than I expected.
Wow -- that'll buy some Starbucks!
Then the old dog peed. He peed on the rug, he peed on the carpet, and then he peed on the linoleum. No problem. I know what to do. Get the mop and have a boy get the steam cleaner.
Problem. To accomplish this I walked away from Baby Girl...
What you can’t see in this picture are the coins under the chair, the coins under the piano, on the sofa, in the kitchen... down her shirt...
I stop mopping to get her to stop digging. While I stand in awe of the mess before me, she quietly slithers away. I pick my jaw up off the floor and begin calling for her. She quietly reappears, seeming contrite (I assume for the coinage) and I ask her to please pick up the coins. She digs through them -- I tell her she’s not allowed to be a dog -- as soon as the crocodile tears and cries that “No one lets me be a dog! I LOVE to be a dog” subside, I inform her that she is not allowed to leave the area until all of the coins are picked up.
This is the end of hour one of the confinement.
She’d locked the old dog in the bathroom with food and water. Leash, stuffed duck and towel an added bonus.
This is how well that “consequence” worked.
Consequences never work with Baby Girl.
Hour 1.75: Daddy arrives. He’s calm, cool, collected, logical. He looks at the mess and demands that Annie hand over her light saber -- favorite toy -- he walks to the trash can and she frantically begins cleaning up, crying, “Don’t throw it away. When F. and M. come over with theirs I’ll just be a loser with my saber in the trash!”
ahhh.... the right currency, a calm demeanor.... that’s all it took....
Hour 1.9: saber no longer in sight -- forgotten. Coins that had been cleaned up now re-dumped on floor. Cries that she needs help. Daddy hands her a dust pan -- great tool. She begins to pick up the coins with the dust pan. Yeah! Maybe the tool will help. She discovers that the dust pan makes a marvelous coin toss scoop. Coins flying everywhere.
Daddy walks into the garage and deposits saber into trash bin.
Wild hysterics. Crying. Screaming at the top of her lungs. Neighbors must think we’re killing her. Hitting herself in the head with fists of coins... Coins still on the floor.
She notices the motion detector for the alarm system. The little light blinks on when she moves It’s done this since before she was born. She suddenly stops crying and asks calmly, “why is that blinking?”
Daddy calmly explains the motion detector. He’s only been home 20 minutes. He’s still calm.
Satisfied with the explanation she returns to the coin carpet and empties onto the floor the few coins that had miraculously made it back into the bucket.
Maybe I can live with a coin carpet... I might have to. Cause right now I can’t see a future where she picks them up.
A day in the life.