Whenever I'm complaining to my mom about not being able to get J to do something, she says, "Desi, you have to be smarter than the baby." (Listen to us, still calling him "the baby" and he'll be 2 years old in -gasp- 6 WEEKS.) Like most kids this age J is not exactly the picture of cooperation. He's becoming more and more independent, which is cool when I want him to occupy himself while I do my hair or clean the kitchen, but not so cool when he's running around naked refusing to let me put on a diaper ("NO BIPER! NO BIPER, MOMMY!").
The bedtime routine used to be so simple: Bath, pj's, brush teeth, book, bed. Lately, though, it's been: Run around refusing to get undressed, get clothes off except for socks and diaper and then get up and try to run downstairs, finally get naked, run around naked either laughing hysterically or shrieking "NO BAFF! NO BAFF! I NO WANNIT!", finally get in the tub, refuse to get out even after the water turns cold, kickbox Daddy in his stomach to avoid getting a diaper put on, put on pj's, brush teeth (amazingly this is no longer a struggle), book, then ask for another book, then ask for another book, then ask for another book, and finally bed.
So two nights ago I had a burst of inspiration. I grabbed the beloved Kurkle from the bed, and let him do the talking for me. "J," I said in Kurkle's voice, "Let's go upstairs and get in the bathtub!" and crawled on the floor making Kurkle "walk" to his bedroom. J was immediately intrigued and followed me and Kurkle upstairs. "Now let's get ready for a bath. What do we need to take off?" J answered Kurkle, "Shirt! Pants! Tocks!" And lo and behold, he started taking his clothes off without a fight. Listening to Kurkle got him to cooperate with taking the diaper off, getting in the tub, getting dressed in pj's, brushing teeth, reading ONE book, and hopping into bed.
This has worked for two nights now, with Teddy Bear joining in the charade last night. And this is REALLY big: J was so entranced with "talking" to Kurkle and Teddy Bear last night and tucking them into bed with him, that HE DIDN'T ASK FOR HIS BINKY. When we left his room last night, he was hugging Kurkle, Teddy was tucked in next to him, he was smiling, and the binky was near his hand...not in his mouth. I don't know if he used it overnight but it wasn't in his mouth this morning, either. Wouldn't that be great if using Kurkle as the new preferred lovey led to J self-weaning from the binky? A mom can only hope...
Practice makes perfect
7 years ago