The views expressed in this blog are personal and not representative of the U.S. Government, etc etc etc.
Read at your own risk.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Everybody loves Goldfish (Especially Kathleen)

Recently, we have been having... struggles... with getting to Kathleen to bed. She goes happily enough but getting her to stay in her bed without getting out again and pushing bins over to her sister's crib or pushing her own bed around or rummaging through her drawers or drawing (with black pen) on the walls and window sills or screaming or talking at the door or asking 20 times to go to the bathroom is a problem.
First we tried taking her blanket away, but that raised such terrible howls that it was being counter-productive (it was waking Sophia up, and she was the whole reason Kathleen was supposed to stay in bed). Then we tried sending her to time-out in the basement. That worked for awhile, but then the fear wore off. Yelling didn't work, and neither did threats. The two hours following Kathleen's bedtime were beginning to become my most dreaded, instead of looked-for, two hours of the day.

And then I remembered a story that my mother had told me. There was a particular Primary class in her ward that had absolutely horrendous behavior. They wouldn't sit. They wouldn't listen. They wouldn't be quiet. They chased every teacher off that thought about taking them to task. Until a new teacher came to town, a devious teacher that knew the psyche of 8 year-old children. He brought an egg crate into class and labeled each cup with a class member's name. He filled each cup with an equal number of jelly beans. And then when a child would act up in class, he would simply look at that child, and begin eating their jelly beans. My mother commented that nobody had ever seen such an obedient Primary class after this teacher took them to task.

I am an ardent admirer of deviousness, especially when used on small children, because they can always resist brute force. So a few nights ago Kathleen got a cup filled with goldfish. The goldfish, we told her, would be all hers in the morning provided that we didn't have to come into her room and tell her to go to sleep. However, every time we came in, we'd eat a goldfish. After two goldfish consumed by me, Kathleen has come to realize that we aren't kidding.

And so silence reigns supreme again at bedtime and I am happy.


PaulaJean said...

Oh, the power of food! And for daughters remembering old Primary stories.

UnkaDave said...

Your mother does the same thing to me, and it drives me crazy, but I stay in bed.

Lindsay Edward said...

That is fabulous! I am definitely storing that away for future use!

daisy deb said...

after many pointless timeouts, threats, etc., we finally put a lock on Ty's door. The fish....well, that is a fabulous idea!!!! I think when we (or if we ever) take the lock of Tyler's door we'll employ this ingenious idea!

the Lola Letters said...

Hey Ashley! How fun to find you on here! I saw that you commented on my friend Janyece's blog (the one whose hubs works for the embassy and they are moving to Jamaica)and I thought, "Hey! I know some Sherwood's!" How is everything going back east?