Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Some Heresy is in the Eyes of the Beholder

This isn't what you think.  I haven't plunged into a gnostic or relativistic way of being.  I've merely learned what constitutes gospel to a three year old.   Like most heretics, I learned by running afoul of her professed orthodoxy.   My daughter loves Dora the Explorer and I have promoted and enabled this love via daily showings when I want a few minutes off to make a list and gather my thoughts for the day. 

This morning she was holding a stuffed musical monkey before her baby brother and saying, "Ariba up, Abaho down" as she illustrated.  I mused about whether or not we needed to cut her off from central supply or at least Nick Jr. for a while since I knew she had memorized a serious number of songs.  But I let it slide.  She's three and she loves it; and given that this little girl was once so silent we arranged for speech, I did not want to crush her love. 

Now as any parent knows, if you want a toddler to do something, you must play the game "Guess my motivation." and I thought I'd come up with a winner to pair what she liked with what I wanted.  "What could be better?" I thought.  We already had the Dora the Explorer Potty Ring, I could sing a little Dora the Explorer song about the map to the bathroom and sing, "When you know you gotta go, there's a place that you should know..." and I could even work in Swiper about hand washing if I wanted to; it was perfect!  I made my pitch to begin potty training.  "Hey Gina! If you get potty trained like Dora, you can have some Dora the Explorer pull ups and underwear! Wouldn't that be great?"

That time around 11:30 yesterday morning, when you gritted your teeth but didn't know why?  That was the beginning of her response. A deep breath.  A long wail followed by a deeper breath. "DORA...ISN'T...POTTY...TRAINED!" She bit her teeth in between each word. Tears streamed.  I was in partial shock as she balled her hands into fists and stomped, approaching me with barely contained three year old hulk smash fury. "NO POTTY TRAINING! NOT DORA!  DORA ISN'T POTTY TRAINED! SHE NOT! SHE'S NOT! SHE'S NOT!  SHE...DOESN'T...EVEN...GO...TO...THE...BATHROOM!" 

My four year old attempted damage control in a surprisingly rational manner.  "Gina, Dora HAS to be potty trained.  She's on underwear and pull-ups. She doesn't wear diapers on TV.  And, I have Dora underwear."  For her the matter was settled.  This second undermining of my daughter's world was more than she could bear.  She ran into her room and shut the door.

Mom pursued.  Okay, I did call my mom who assured me, "You'll think of something."

"Gina?"  I put on my solicitous mom voice.  "Gina?"

She gave me a suspicious look like "you aren't going to proselytize that potty training lie again are you?" She had her thumb poised just outside her closed pouty mouth as if to have it on call in case of further emergency. 

"Gina, I want you to listen to me."  I prayed I'd have the right pitch to get through the next three minutes without causing further despair or permanent damage.  "Gina, Dora wasn't Always potty trained.  She used diapers and then pull ups and then underwear and she wants you to do the same thing.  Just like Dora did."  She put down her thumb and looked into my eyes.  Her face was still streaked with tears but she gave a slight nod that my explanation was at the very least, acceptable.  A few hugs and all was right as rain until we came down the stairs.  She handed me the remote and asked for a bit of TV.   

"What are we watching?" my other daughter asked?
I scrolled through the offerings.  "Max and Ruby kids."  I announced, and peace reigned....for now. 

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

Holi jeehosafat
that was a close call!!

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!