Dealing with It
Poco is a cartoon boy who gets very annoyed by his dog (I think his name is Linus) and sometimes he feels very angry or sad. He has various strategies for dealing with these disagreeable feelings. I think one strategy is counting slowly to ten. Then he feels better. This is a great program for teaching children that when upsets occur, they have tools they can use to conquer them. (As opposed to grown-up strategies which involve flipping someone the bird or honking the horn and yelling unflattering adjectives).
I went to visit the Shavers yesterday and Abby was having a few difficult moments. She really wanted to play outside (even though mummy and daddy were eating dinner). Even though I suggested we play Candyland or draw a picture or do a puzzle, she just really wanted to go outside. When I finally conceded, she grabbed her brand new Dora fork and spoon and really wanted to take them outside too. Unfortunately for Abby, they are an INDOOR fork and spoon, not designed particularly for digging in the sandbox. This news made her bottom lip tremble (so quickly she forgets she's just won the "going outside" battle). We finally convinced her that it's still fun because she and I have matching vests. Her mom reminded her many, many times that it will only be a five minute play time outside 'cause it's almost dark. And that she HAD to listen to me when I said it was time to come in. Jen also gave me instructions on the 4 and 3 and 2 minute warning method.
So we played in the sandbox and we played soccer and Abby did a dance to represent what Conan the baby does in mummy's tummy. She was happy as a clam to hear the 4 and 3 and 2 and even the one minute warnings. But when I said it was time to go inside, she got that look on her face.
She explained she didn't want to go inside. I was sympathetic, "I know, kiddo."
She dragged her feet and when we got indoors she told her mum and dad she wanted to stay outside. She said she was feeling sad and then she began to cry.
Luckily, mummy knows some of Poco's methodologies.
"What would make it better, Abby?
Do you want to hug mummy?"
Shake of the head.
"Do you want to hug daddy?"
Shake of the head.
"Do you want to hug a monkey?" (I'm pretty sure the Shavers don't have one but luckily Abby shook her head."
"Do you want to hug your poop-on-the-potty puppet?"
Eyes open wide, "Yes!"
She runs off to go hug a horse puppet that might be called Harold. He is a very lucky horse. He was given this home because Abby had a very successful first-ever-entire-poop-into-the-potty experience (versus a half a poop in the potty and the other half elsewhere OR the other option which is holding the poop in for four days til mummy has to give her a suppository).
And just like that, the upset is over.
Never underestimate the power of hugging a poop-puppet....or maybe even a monkey.