Saturday, November 10, 2007

Toddler Diplomacy

When it came time to head down for a nap after lunch, T let me know that he really preferred not to. He had handfuls of dinosaurs and kept slowly walking away from me as I tried to get him to say "night-night" to his dinosaurs and go to bed. He'd just stare at me blankly slowly taking steps backward. I don't believe in chasing down 3-year-olds, so I just kept eye contact, letting him know I wasn't giving up.

So I thought, "How can I make this a more concrete idea for T?" So I said that the dinosaurs needed naps too, and here, why don't we put blankets out for them? So I grabbed a place-mat, folded it in half and asked T to put his dinosaurs to bed. The idea seemed to interest him, and he stopped creeping away backwards.

I also don't believe in begging 3-year-olds to do anything, so after asking him twice to come put his dinosaurs to bed, I then told him to put his dinosaurs to bed, which he then did:
All but one dinosaur, at least. He kept his favorite one in his hand, looking at me sideways to see what I was gonna do about it. I asked him, "What about the big one in your hand?" T asnwered, "He's my favorite. He doesn't need a nap."

At this point, all it took was my offering Big-Favorite Dinosaur his own bed to get the job done: T then happily walked downstairs to his bed and blanket. As I was walking out of the room, he said, "What about pillows? My dinosaurs don't have pillows." Some clean, unfolded laundry was there on the couch, so I grabbed my favorite socks and said, "I think these will do. Big Dinosaur will get his own." T nodded, turned on his side, and fell asleep.

Everyone wins, especially the dinosaurs who have probably never felt so snug.


Jana said...

They do look awfully cosy.

Anonymous said...

that's an accomplishment! good job!

Anonymous said...

I love that dinosaur in the bottom photo, made me laugh, thanks, and congratulations on the successful nap negotiations.