One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Heard Over the Phone

Annie and I always talk at least once a day while I'm at work. If she calls in the morning, I get to hear the girls playing in the background, and her having to manage their disputes and antics. Here are two such incidents:

1) We have had an ongoing problem with Genna. She is a great older sister. She adores Julia, brings her toys, plays with her, snuggles her, and sings to her. But she has been obsessed with poking Julia's eyeballs! There is a new incident almost everyday in which Genna is playing with Julia, then without warning she reaches out and pokes Julia's eye, making the baby cry. We have tried talking to Genna, giving her timeouts, taking away privileges, and everything else we can think of to make her stop. Nothing has worked.

That's the prelude to what I heard over the phone yesterday. Here is how it went (bear in mind, through all of this I am sitting at my desk at work):

Annie: "Genna, be careful with Julia." (Julia starts crying). "Genna! You DO NOT poke Julia's eyes!"
Genna: (begins her mock cry because she has been chastised).
Annie: "Genna, do you want me to poke your eye?"
Genna: [in a sassy tone] "No!" (there is silence for a moment, then Genna starts crying).
Annie: "See, Genna, it hurts when someone pokes you in the eye. I'll do it again the next time you poke Julia's eye."

I could not stop laughing.

Then today ...

2) The girls are often in our room when Annie gets dressed for the day. Whenever Kate sees Annie in her bra, Kate says, "Oh, you're Tinkerbell!" Kate has developed a bit of interest in Annie's chest. Today Annie and I were on the phone, and I could hear that Kate was climbing all over her. Then:

Annie: "Ouch! Kate, that hurt."
Kate: "Let go! I want to touch it!"
Annie: "Kate, honey, no. That hurts when you pinch mommy's boob."
Kate: "But I want to touch it."
Annie: "Kate, no." (trying to suppress her laughter)
Kate: [amidst scuffling noises] "Uhh! Let go! They're Kate's hands!"
Annie: "Ok, go. Go play read your Dora book."

Once again, I could not stop laughing.

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