Developmental Leaps and Bounds

I’ve already commented in another entry that Gleek has entered the “why?” stage with a bang. She’s also developed another amusing trait; tall tales. She’ll begin telling me how she went to the neigbor’s house and jumped on the trampoline and then she’ll add a small detail which is plausible, but unlikely: “we jumped higher than the fence.” Then she’s off: “Then a bird came flying down and jumped with us and catched us and we flew in the sky and we were all birds and we flew and flew but then we were rabbits and hid in a hole.” Most of the time I can tell where reality departs the story, but sometimes it is harder. I’m not always sure Gleek can tell though. In her mind one segues into the other with no dividing line. I think my favorite one so far is the one where Hummingbirds have no wings and so they have to go and buy them from the store. But they don’t have money so they go to Gleek who sells them money.

Gleek isn’t the only one who has made developmental leaps recently. Patches has discovered the joys of foraging. He can open the pantry and help himself to cheerios. He can climb on top of the table and help himself to whatever was left there. (Suddenly I’m much better about making sure the table gets cleared immediately.) He can also go to the garbage can and get stuff out. Fortunately he doesn’t seem to eat stuff from the garbage can. Mostly he grabs something and comes around the corner and grins and me as if to say: “Mom! Look what I did! Now you have to scold me and pay attention to me!” It works every time darn it. I’m not sure how to NOT reinforce that behavior because I can’t let him keep the garbage.

The other attention-getting works-every-time tactic that Patches uses, which drives me nuts, is that when he wants picked up and I am busy he grabs both of my legs in a bear hug. I’m usually moving at a brisk pace when he does this. I have to come to an immediate halt or risk injuring Patches or falling myself. I frequently have my hands full of something or other, so I can’t pick Patches up immeadiately. I end up shuffling slowly, dragging a crying, bear-hugging toddle-boy closer to the counter so I can put whatever I’m carrying down and pick up the boy.

My kids are too smart for my convenience.

5 thoughts on “Developmental Leaps and Bounds”

  1. Pirate’s sort of in the Why? stage but her thing is to ask one question then ask a question about your answer and then question that answer. It’s mainly a delaying bedtime trick.

    Have you any place you can put the trash can out of reach?

    Pirate did the same thing but had to stop after we put the trash can behind a railing and turned the lid around.

    Wen’s thing is to put stuff in the trash can. Gah. Wen’s dropped in Pirate’s sandal, my dust pan, forks, and cups.

    We’ve had to gate off the kitchen because Pirate and Wen like to eat salt and there really isn’t anywhere in the kitchen to put the salt out of their reaches.

    Wen does the tackle around the legs too. But she doesn’t cry when she can’t be picked up. She thinks it is fun to hold on while I try walking. Her trick is to grab hold of your thumbs and then climb up your front. I’ve got some great photos of Wen and Pirate treating as a tree.

  2. I think all kids go through that. Until they hit the stage of telling potentially believable stories (i.e., lying to manipulate you/someone else), I think it’s pretty safe.
    They can be quite amusing, too.

  3. My storytelling days.

    I don’t remember the beginning of my storytelling days. My parents and teachers like to remind me of the time when, for example, I told a girl in my first or second grade class that I had seen leprosy before and she had it and her fingers were going to fall off. (I don’t remember this. I have never seen leprosy, but I had certainly read about it in the Bible repeatedly by that age.)

    I personally had a serious social issue with my storytelling. It took me until I was a young teen to realize that what I considered good-fun storytelling was considered by most others to be ridiculous lying. I was bored with my life, even as a kid — I believed that life could be more than what it was, and adventure was mine for the taking, but before I could take it I had to create it.

    Essentially, I was making my own Live-Action Role-Playing games, and expecting that others would be interested in coming along for the ride. They never were, I never understood why, and it made me miserable.

    Among other things, between the ages of 10 and 12, I told people I was a spy, a werewolf, and an android. When the android one started to fall through for lack of interest, I said that no, of course I’m not really an android. But I’m playing one on TV next season if the audition goes well, and so I’m practicing.

    I knew none of it was real. I assumed that everyone else knew none of it was real, and that they’d enjoy what was essentially an intense make-believe session. Instead, I was more or less ostracized for being the weird, lying kid.

    Eventually I realized that I couldn’t play my own games with others, so I turned to writing them down.

    My first novel will be available this fall.


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