We love to hear from the rest of the mamas out there, and we particularly love to hear from urbanPapas. An urbanPapa recently emailed:
As is becoming more common, our three-year old often ignores us when we ask him to stop doing something. The other night it happened when he was banging two tomatoes together (over the living room furniture/carpet). After a few quick requests from both parents, I yelled his name very loudly, which got his rapt attention. He was so stunned by the volume and looking up to see both parents unhappy that he became genuinely sad, got up, and went to sit on the bottom step of the stairs. I am pretty sure he was just going there to be alone and away from the situation, not to punish himself. As I have pondered the whole thing I keep thinking that while yelling certainly worked in the narrow context of not having tomato guts all over things, it was probably a failure as far as communication goes.
It later came out that he had just discovered the little egg shaped maracas at a music class earlier in the day, where he had begun banging them together to get a double sound . . . so of course he was probably channeling that and meant no harm and doesn't know what happens when you bang together tomatoes . . . all adding up to more certainty that I did the wrong thing. Ay carumba.
What would you have done? Now that you've yelled, now what? What other communication techniques could you have pulled out of your mama/papa sleeves? What other self-calming tricks would you have employed before ratcheting up the volume?