Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Puerto Rico has been better than I could have imagined in many ways. It has also been challenging for the kids. Everything is unfamiliar, they are short on sleep, long on exercise (walking miles every day), having to spend long amounts of time waiting in restaurants and other places, and getting lots of their allergens. It's enough to wear on any kid's behavior, and certainly on our kidlets.

C' know you wanna laugh, too!
Joelito had already started through the potty-talk phase, and this trip brought it to the forefront at embarrassing times, such as in the middle of a restaurant. Worse, I was in the no-man's-land of trying to decide exactly what my embarrassment-acceptability quotient was. You've probably been there. It's that deadly place where you are certain that everyone around you is judging you and your children for their behavior, and you feel a need to come down harder than you normally would for your own pride's sake.

The truth is, having my three-year-old randomly interject the word "caca" into conversation doesn't normally bother me too much. Sometimes I even find it funny. But when we are in the fishbowl of group travel, my standards started to shift. I didn't want to get grouchy over something that I normally would ignore, particularly when I was already aware of the stress my children were under.

Then I remembered the tactic from Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen that suggests giving them a nonsense word to get a reaction. So, I whispered to Joel that whatever he said, not to say "snoogle-woogles", or even worse, "snoggle-woggles". He could tell by the way I acted that it was a game, not a serious don't-do-this, and he played along beautifully. Each time he blurted it out, I would feign shock and horror, and make a production of looking around to see if anyone heard. He giggled hysterically. He has pretty much forgotten any other references, and delights in waiting till things are very quiet to stage-whisper, "snoogle-woogles". If anyone notices, they smile at his obvious delight rather than raising their eyebrows at his unacceptable language. It's pretty cute. And while I was always taught that even euphemisms are not good to say, I think the next time I get really, really mad, I might just let drop a "snoogle-woogles" myself. Maybe even a "snoggle-woggles".


Desiree said...

I found your blog on gcm. Too Cute!!!

dulce de leche said...

Thanks so much! I love GCM--you all are teaching me so much!

Carrie said...

Ah, kids! LOL!

Busy Momma said...

What a great tactic! And fun!

me and the Mexican said...

great idea! enjoyed ur post!

dulce de leche said...

Gracias! Me encanta tu blog. :)