Dugald farmIn a devastating blow to many motivational routines, kid #4 decided this week that only he is allowed to sing. Many important-yet-sometimes-disliked activities (such as bathtime, bedtime and cleaning up) have associated songs to encourage participation, but now as soon as anyone starts to sing kid #4 will yell, “NO SINGING!” He, however, is free to sing whenever he feels like it (and nobody else may join in).

Kid #3 is beginning to get a good grasp of relative time, though she seems to think that she can sometimes bend it to her will. We had this exchange at the dinner table:

Kid #3: Can I have some dessert?
Me: You’ll have to ask Mommy when she’s finished talking on the phone.
Kid #3: (quick look around) OK, she’s done!
Me: No she isn’t – I can still hear her talking.
Kid #3: I can’t hear her talking!
Me: Well, perhaps I have better hearing than you.
Kid #3: No, I have better hearing.
Me: Oh? (whisper) Can you hear me?
Kid #3: (whisper) No!

Dugald prairieFarm fire

Similarly, she is beginning to anticipate rewards for good behaviour and thus sometimes goes out of her way to let us now that she’s behaving well. Again at the dinner table, we are trying to stop her eating with her mouth open:

Kid #3: (mouth full of food) Mmtrng wrmph mph tmnmn.
Me: Kid #3, I can’t understand you when you talk with your mouth full.
Kid #3: (finishes eating) I’m eating with my mouth closed! (ta daa!)