Monday, July 19, 2010

Repeat Offender

Jill has some behavior that I do not approve of, or shall I say, of which I do not approve. Ha. I was explaining to a native Spanish-speaking friend on Saturday about ending sentences with prepositions, splitting infinitives, and dangling participles. They are usage issues about which I could care less, but that regardless (or irregardless haha) continue to be perpetuated and retaught to generation after generation of helpless children who don't understand that rules were made to be broken and some language rules should not have been made at all. Or perhaps children do understand that. Look at how they text message . . . I am impressed by their ability to introduce digits into the spelling of words.

Okay, my blog as taken a major detour from its original purpose.

Repeat Offender: Jill H. Collett.

What are her undesirable repeat offenses?
  • Taking bites out of her daddy's bar of Irish Spring
  • Fishing items out of the trash can
  • Picking up Cosmo by the neck
  • "Helping" with the laundry, which really means unfolding what I've folded
  • "Helping" with the dishes, which really means removing items from the dishwasher or changing their location
Soapy Mouth
I have not tried the Irish Spring soap, but I can only assume that it does not taste good. However that does not daunt her. Without fail, if the bathroom door is left open to my and Jeff's bathroom, she will toddle in there (she is a toddler you know), pick it up, and bite it. Now, the bar of soap actually looks quite cute with her little teeth marks and missing piece, and Jill always spits it out of her mouth when I tell her to, but still. Why? I have tried to explain to her that soap in the mouth is a punishment for a dirty mouth, but the comprehension level is low at this point.

"I Love Trash"
Jill has never seen Sesame Street, but she would definitely relate to Oscar it seems. She loves trash cans. Luckily the trash can that holds her diapers is inaccessible, because I keep it in her closet, but all the rest are fair game, and if she sees something she likes, she will fish it out. And possibly put it in her mouth. No matter how gross. I have had many discussions with her about the ickiness of trash, but again comprehension seems low. Although today she did say "trash" a few times to contribute to our discussion.

She has not yet grasped the concept to not pick up Cosmo (that is the name we chose for our kitten; it's BYU's mascot) by his neck. She does it approximately once daily. He just hangs limp in her arms and does not struggle. I almost want him to bite or scratch her when she does it, so perhaps she would learn not to do it. I have to be vigilant around those two. Cosmo has proved himself to be a very good-natured cat though. He likes Jill regardless of what she does to him. Today he even climbed up on her lap and snuggled in for a little nap. Perhaps he understands she's a baby like he is, or perhaps he has a bad memory. :)

Laundry and Dishes
I'm not sure what to do about this. It is flattering to have her mimic me but frustrating to have my work multiplied. It reminds me of how early in our marriage, Jeff would help with the laundry, and then I would refold everything that he folded. How polite of me. How actually rude of me. What is more important? My husband helping or wrinkle-free clothes? I think you know which is more important. So, right now I just redo what Jill does, because she lacks the coordination to fold clothes. I guess I should try teaching her where to put things in the dishwasher. If she's old enough to take it out, she's old enough to put it back where I want it. Right?

Right now my largest parental struggle is just not knowing what she is capable of and not knowing what to expect of her. I don't want to expect more than a 15 month old can realistically do, but I also don't want to have too low of expectations for her and never get her to grow. Right now when I try to teach her, she usually thinks it is a game. "No" has little to no effect on her except to make her giggle and shake her head. When I put something back that she has taken, she thinks it's a really fun game. There are some things that she will do. She will put items back in a bag or basket. Again she thinks it is a game though. One of her favorite new activities is to fit something inside of something else. Good coordination practice for her. I'm always surprised when she does or says something new. I think, "Oh, you're not actually frozen in time. You're growing. Hm. I'm not sure if I like that."


  1. Ah, it's true, it is easy to compare Hallie and Jill, everything you wrote I was like I remember when Hallie did that! Or, yeah, Hallie is still doing that. :)

    It's tricky. It makes me so mad when Hallie thinks we're playing a game and really I am trying to explain to her that it isn't nice to slap Hanna across the face. Or to slap me.

    So, if you ever figure out something that works let me know. I tell myself to just stay calm and be consistent, and maybe someday she'll stop slapping (biting/kicking/etc.) me.

  2. Emily likes to help with laundry too; I usually move it out of her reach if its getting to be an issue. Just try to stay calm, and not get upset, because babies like reactions. And give her lots attention for doing things right--then she'll want to do them more.

  3. Oh, and I love the name of your cat.

  4. the best advice I've heard on combining keeping house with parenting: the purpose of the task is to strengthen the relationship. At the end of the day, it's not really about actually sweeping the floors clean. It's about developing a relationship with your kids that involves fun, useful skills, and trust--even if that means letting them man the broom half the time.

    if it's not an essential task or on a tight deadline, I try to let scotty help because he loves spending time with me and how long will that last? sometimes i try to give him "helping" tasks that keep him out of my actual way, like pouring water back and forth between cups in the other sink while I wash dishes...

  5. maybe it's because you used the word "frustrating". ?

  6. Benji does/did all this stuff, too. I tell him not to all the time...I think his comprehension level is medium right now and he just does things to irk me! Oh, aren't toddlers fun!?

  7. Emily's favorite game is hiding shoes and sippy cups all over the house. Just in case she needs one quickly later she will not have to go far for it.

  8. Yeah Holly has the same problem with her husband folding clothes for her.

    I was thinking about your last point about being frustrated with knowing how much to expect from Jill. I wonder if God has similar thoughts about us.

    Hope you guys are doing awesome!

  9. omg jill is so cute!! i can totally picture her doing all of those things and i just wanna hug her!

  10. This post made me laugh Mimi! Aurora and Jill have different "offensive behaviors" but I know what it's like! Best wishes in "reforming" and growing your repeat offender.

  11. Remember this poem? I've always had it hanging in the laundry room. I still do.
    "Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'till tomorrow,
    For babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow.
    So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
    I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep." Anon
    (Not that I'm sorry my babies grew up, just that I miss little hands holding mine...sigh)
    If you can get stuff done and give the babies lovin', great. but the lovin' is the most important. I would still drop everything to come and give you lovin'. Love, MOM

  12. And I think we all know that Mom's not kidding when she says that! Ha ha.


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