Monday, October 10, 2005


The other day, Jim and I both had to work at 9:00 a.m., and Sprout would not put on his pants to go to daycare (a.k.a. 'Auntie's house'). This is Saskatchewan, so even in early October the weather is getting a little nippy. We cajoled, we begged, but to no avail. "No pants!!!", he bellowed.

Now, in this situation, you can sit on him and force his pants on, but that only teaches him that the biggest gorilla wins the argument. A method to be used sparingly. The other option is to be creative.

Taking a loose tip from Barbara Coloroso ('maybe they won't wear their mitts because they don't really know what frostbite is'), I said, "Either you put your pants on, or we're going to Auntie's without pants." And so, in a few minutes, there we were out in the sunshine, and he had on shoes, socks, underwear, and his long winter coat. He looked like the world's smallest flasher.

"Sprout," I would say, "We'll put your pants on when you get cold. Are you cold?" "No, I'm good without pants!", he said, delighted. Being the voice of instructive reason (in the future to be called incessant nattering), I thought I'd fill him in on the reality of being cold. "Touch the sidewalk." I said, "If you fall down without pants, that's how cold it would be on your knees." No effect. It was all too much fun.

Finally, after half a block (it's only a block to get there, in total), I said, "Sprout, if we show up without any pants on you, Auntie will not be impressed with me. We're going to sit down on that rock there, and put your pants on." To this he made no argument, and so we did the deed. And the tiniest flasher was no more.


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