LETS SEE HER BUM EXPLODE!
In many ways a child under the age of 5 is like a lab rat. You have to condition it to learn certain actions. Or to avoid certain actions.
Take for instance the concept of pain.
A child that hasn’t bumped his head on the corner of the coffee table will not know to watch out for table corners.
A child that hasn’t felt a bee sting will not avoid bees.
A child that hasn’t caught a finger in the car door will not be careful around doors opening and closing.
The experience of pain teaches the lesson. Unfortunately.
In my son the concept of pain is vague. Very vague. The only time in his short life he really hurt was when he had a nasal tube inserted in hospital 2 years ago. And a drip. But he seems to have forgotten that episode….
At the moment it’s like speaking to a wall when I warn him that he’s going to get hurt. And even worse, that his actions will hurt his sister. Or burn down the house.
“Don’t run with a fork in your hands! If you fall it’ll get stuck in your eye! ”
Beady little eyes start sparkling and I can just see what that little mind is thinking: Oeeee, interesting! Major blood and oozing potential!
“Don’t bump your sister’s pram. She will fall out! ”
“And then? ”
“And then she’ll fall on her bum and get really hurt! ”
Woweeee, COOL! says that face.
“Will her bum explode??? ”
“Don’t switch on the electric blankets on the beds!! ”
“Why ? ”
“Because you will set the house on fire!”
“And then we’ll have nowhere to live.”
“And then we’ll have to find a new house. ”
“Can we go and live in East London by the sea???
See what I mean? Setting the house on fire has just become a good thing….
All he sees when warned is blood, guts and gore and lots of screaming and yelling and at his age those are all fascinating things.
The trick seems to be to not make it all seem so interesting.
Not “Don’t hug your sister so hard. You will break her neck!”
But “Don’t hug your sister so hard.”
“BECAUSE I SAID SO!!! “
And right there I’ve turned into my mother…how did THAT happen?