Ahhh, the sun sets on another day.
In some charade of preparedness, I’ve been taking Keaton on long wagon-pulled walks now for a few evenings running. I know these will in no way actually prepare me for the 65mi Muir Trail hike we’re doing in just a few weeks, but, somehow, they ease my conscience at not doing anything more tangible.
Tonight all three of us walked over to the nearest home improvement warehouse store and looked at their selection of ceiling fans (I hope to have one installed in the new front room before Sharaun’s folks get here this Saturday). After that we indulged my wife’s sweet tooth and stopped at the local McDonald’s for soft-serve cones all around.
Oh, I remember what I wanted to talk about today… Keaton has been baaaad lately!
I mean, our daughter has always been (to us, at least) a shining example of perfection. Every once in a while she’d have a little too-tired meltdown… but, to be honest, I always thought she was pretty easy to deal with. Not so anymore friends, not so anymore. Lately, she’s really been playing with just how much she can get away with and how far she can push. In some ways, I find it interesting to see her flexing her control – but her methods leave a little to be desired. She’s particularly fond of screaming, flailing, lying dead-weight on the ground ala passive resistance, the word “No,” and complete and utter disdain for, or ignoring of, our instruction – the list goes on.
All of this started as the occasional boundary-checking, but it’s gotten a little more systemic of late. Today, Sharaun supplemented our trite and predictable nouveau-parenting technique of “timeouts” with something I dubbed babydoll-kidnapping; because, see, Keaton loves her babydolls. She has, by my estimates, near ten of them. In fact, let’s count them to be sure… From memory (pretty good Dad, eh?), they are: Baby Kia, Baby Claudia, Baby Finna, Baby Finny (I think they are brother/sister), Baby Hannah, Baby Sabrina, and Muñeca (she’s from Mexico). She usually knows where each baby is at all times, whether they are sleeping, playing, hiding, crying, need to be burped or fed or held, etc. Today, however, they all got rounded up and put on the high shelf of our closet. Yup, Sharaun interned them all as some measure of additional bad-behavior deterrent.
When I got home from work, the first thing Keaton did (after my required big hug and lip-kiss) was to follow me into the bedroom and point out her dolls on the shelf. “Look Dad,” she said, “My dolls got put up.” Using my new-grown parenting skills, I deduced that there must be some logic behind all seven dolls being put in the closet, and chose not to comment aside from a, “I see that baby…” When I got the chance to ask Sharaun what was up with the hijacked dolls, I could hear the frustration seep back into her voice: “When she misbehaves from now on we take dolls away in addition to timeouts!, ” was her simple yet authoritarian reply. Mmmm-hmmm; sounds good. I’m on-board by decree at this point, “OK, I’ll remember.”
Poor Keaton; dolls all up in the closet gathering dust. I guess we’ll see if the new technique works… but I have my doubts. I figure this is just part of the “two year old” phase and that we’ll have to simply weather the growing and stretching and rattling fetters. For what it’s worth, she’s still my favorite thing on Earth and I can never really be all that mad at her…