Stomach Pains

by doodaddy on January 13, 2010

Minor meltdown this morning, but first, let’s define terms for all you non-parents.

Drop-off Playdate: E.g. crack for the stay-at-home parent. This is when you leave your kid at someone’s house, and most kids love ‘em.

Fern, though, is a bit of a homebody.

So when promised (in the most! excited! tone! of! voice!) a drop-off playdate at her good friend’s house today, Fern balked hard, balked like a cat being put into the box that takes it to the nasty mean groomer who smells bad… she way balked.

And I needed Fern to go on that drop-off playdate more than I need air to breathe. I am beyond tired lately — throwing three parties in the space of a month, all in our newly-renovated home that still has no shelves but enough full, heavy boxes to recreate the Great Wall in the garage.

So I instantly pulled out every kid-convincing tool in the arsenal.

  • Logic. (“You like playdates! You like your friend! There’s real food there!”)
  • Appeal to self-sufficiency. (“You need to learn how to be at other people’s houses so we can teach you about snooping in medicine cabinets!”)
  • Bribes Rewards. (“Not one but two prizes from your prize bag when you get home!”)
  • Stonewalling. (“Well, you’re going, and that’s that!”)

It’s remarkable, really, that I managed to try so many strategies to convince Fern to go on her playdate — and all with exclamation points! — without even considering the one that worked, in the end: feeding her.

One hard-boiled egg, one bagel, one cup of milk transformed Fern from a jittery anti-playdate misanthrope to an excited pro-playdate proanthrope. When I dropped her off she gave me barely a hug before disappearing into the depths of the house.

So here’s the lesson: no more discussions, decisions, or plans are ever to be made before breakfast.

You’d think after four years I’d have figured that one out, wouldn’t you?

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in crying,failure,faux pas,friends ·

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

chiqui January 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm

that’s one strategy i learned today. thanks. it might come in handy.


Nan January 14, 2010 at 5:57 am

Heh heh, yup, I still forget that! Suddenly it occurs to me “why am I trying to discuss this at nine o’clock at night?”

Food and rest. All a kid needs to become reasonable.


doodaddy January 21, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Well, “reasonable” is a stretch. I’d sign on to “manageable,” maybe.

Rayne of terror January 14, 2010 at 10:33 am

Yes. Eggs are my secret parenting weapon. 2 scrambled eggs can act as a lightswitch from bonkers to delightful in 5 minutes.


doodaddy January 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Eggs have been known to work for us, too, although only if we keep it on the DL… just put a plate of something in front of her but don’t indicate that you think it will change her behavior. If she cottons on to the plan, she’ll refuse food, too.

mom, again January 15, 2010 at 12:05 am

with us this often comes up at bedtime. the most nightmare bedtimes are the ones when we, the grown ups, are determined to gently cajole the toddler through the regular bedtime schedule. we dangle the favorite jammies, we offer the Thomas the tank engine toothpaste, eventually, we just get fed up with the screaming, and put him in the bed in whatever state we’ve reached.

and he promptly closes his eyes and commences snoring. Gee, no wonder he was so rotten, HE WAS SLEEPY


doodaddy January 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Yeah, we get just about the same, all the way up to the “promptly closing her eyes” part. That part takes a few hours.

People in the Sun January 17, 2010 at 9:47 am

You didn’t try begging? Until I cry and beg, my 2-yr-old boy doesn’t do anything. That, and a couple of Benjamins.


doodaddy January 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Ooh, I want to be your kid…

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