talk about it more

a virtual baby book

When she was two, Fiona regularly said "Talk about it more!" to express her desire to know more about whatever we were discussing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Please just don't tell Alfie!

We were getting as ready as messy people possibly can for the arrival of Grandpa and Mimi this afternoon. Fiona, having caught a glimpse of her birthday party booty in the snack cabinet was requesting candy before (as?) lunch, Zelda was trying to get into the dishwasher as I unloaded it, and Nora was pulling anything on poor Ivy that she could grab.

I had to resort to the spray bottle to get Zelda out of the dishwasher. It is a good thing that curiosity does not actually kill kitties or kiddies, let me tell you. Right at that moment, Nora wrapped her chubby fingers around Ivy's tail as a follow-up to my reminder not to pull kitty feet. Oh, how we've gone round and round trying to get Nora to leave those poor kittens alone! We've read stuff, we've read stuff with the kids, and spoken to the animal shelter and the pediatrician. We model positive pet practices, watch her as closely as we can, and give the cats breaks by putting them in the bathroom alone to chill sometimes. I don't know, I suppose only time will tell.

Anyway, I truly cannot explain exactly what happened inside me at that moment to make me go diametrically against the philosophy of our beloved Alfie Kohn, but in that split-second after squirting Zelda and seeing that Ivy was still getting antagonized, I turned and zapped Nora's shoulder with a squirt from the spray bottle, along with the gentle "No" the kittens also hear under just such circumstances. Even as I write I am still kind of wondering who that Other Jen of the Operant Conditioning was who did such a thing.

Nora stopped yanking. She looked at me in surprise, as well as at her slightly soggy shoulder. She exclaimed, "No! Zelda!" pointing indignantly to Ivy (she still names the cats somewhat randomly). I told her that Ivy wasn't doing anything wrong, but that she was, and that I had asked her to leave Ivy's tail and feet alone, which was what I wanted her to do right now. Stunned, she toddled out of the kitchen to go play in the living room.

Each new day is a fresh start. Each new day is a fresh start. Each new day...


At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can not stop laughing. I am crying here!

Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. If I tell Alfie about this, I would then have to tell him about an episode that happened at my house yesterday that I am not exactly proud of.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Teresa said...

I'm sure Alfie understands. He's been there too. Well, maybe not with a water bottle. :)

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Deborah said...

Ryan had one of his tantrums, screamed at me and poked me painfully me in the face with his forefinger. I lost it and spanked him hard on his bottom.

And you're beating yourself up over a little squirt of water...

I'm not familiar with Mr. Kohn, but from the sound of it, he'd probably have me arrested.

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I guess this just proves that you are human after all. I think every mom could confess to some strange reaction to a child's behavior.

If only we could extend forgiveness to ourselves as freely as the Lord extends it to us.



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