Ellie has a bad habit of tipping the contents of toy boxes on the floor then walking away without having played with the toys much, if at all. It’s a particular problem here as we have so little space. If we let stuff pile up we’ll start tripping over it. Then, as the teddies & toy trains pile higher & higher, we’ll end up not being able to move & will find ourselves walled up inside. Again.
We’ve been trying to get her to tidy up afterwards, to put the toys back in the box. She’s nearly 3 so she should be able to do that now, right?
We haven’t had much success.
“Ellie, will you pick the <play> food up please?”
She’s a good girl – as she’ll tell you herself – but, like any 2-year-old, she has her moments
“Ellie, please pick the food up”
“No. I don’t want to!”
“Ellie, you tipped it on the floor; you should put it back”
Appealing to logic to a 2-year-old. Yeah, that’s going to work…
“No. You do it!”
Then she goes upstairs to get ready for bed with Jake & the Mummy, while I clear up after dinner. And tidy up Ellie’s toys.
But no more! We’ve decided to get stroppy!
So next time we added:
“Ellie, if you don’t clear up your food we’re going to take it away”
“Ellie, Daddy will take it away” (Daddy shoots the Mummy a look that says: “Thanks!” Sarcastically) “& you won’t be able to play with it any more. Isn’t that right, Daddy?”
I understand cabinet collective responsibility & the need for parental unity & all that, although I can’t help feeling a bit like Nick Clegg.
“Yes, that’s right. I will take your food away”
“Ellie, do you understand that we will take those toys away & you won’t be able to play with them any more?”
“Yes. That’s OK”.
She called our bluff! She’s only 2, for crying out loud!
Note To Self: Never play poker with Ellie. Unless she’s on my team…
Then they all trotted off upstairs as usual & I wore some more holes in my jeans clearing up toys. As usual. Although I did take the food away. For a few days
You see what we’re up against here?