New Mama Musings

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Little Engine that Would

I've been giving Henry a teaspoon of cod liver oil every night for the past month or so. He's never been thrilled about it, but lately it seems as though he's starting to catch on that hey, this is not very fun.

The other night I told him it was time for the "squirty stuff" (I put it in a syringe and squirt it into his mouth). He said, "No. Don't want to."

I tried my usual tactic of putting it aside and telling him to let me know when he was ready, but after about twenty minutes and a few more attempts on my part I realized I would have to change my approach.

"Open up," I said. "The engine needs some grease or it might get stuck!"

And just like that, Henry smiled and opened his mouth for me.

This is a strategy my husband and I have been using with great success lately.

Henry doesn't want to get his boots on? "Hey engine, you need your wheel covers so you don't get wet in the snow!"

He doesn't want to change clothes? "Let's paint the engine a different color!"

This feels a bit like subterfuge, but obviously Henry knows he's not an engine, and I love that we're making things into a game instead of a battle of wills.

The old me would have thought I was giving in or abdicating my authority, but I know now that it's not about that. Just one more thing Henry has taught me.


  • That's so cute. I found you from Misplaced Mama blog. Good idea. I have an 11 month old so he's not there yet, but I'll remember this one. BTW, why the cod oil?

    By Anonymous Courtney, at 10:43 AM  

  • This cracked me up. I had no idea when I started down this path that parenting a toddler would require so damn much creativity.

    By Anonymous gearhead mama, at 2:53 PM  

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