Two things about this incident, she stopped immediately (as intended), and I was not the one uttering it. Since Baby S arrived home we have kept her contained in the living room area by placing an ottoman between the chaise and the fireplace landing. Those days are sadly over as she gleefully climbs over, squeals, applauds and proudly states "good girl!" Although we are proud of the results of positive reinforcement, we are not jumping up and down repeating good girl. I told you we are bad parents.
P was able to install one of the gates to prevent her from wondering and when he returned to work after lunch he felt rather confident about his effort. I knew it would not take long before Baby S would use her full weight to take the gate down. Baby S is one tenacious little girl; she does not know the meaning of giving up. During the four hours BaBa was gone, I tried my best to keep her away from the gate by imposing the harshest, most cruel punishmen. That’s right, every toddler’s nightmare, a time-out. I was not very successful.
Once P arrived home he took over the gate watch. After a dozen times of saying no, just as Baby S reaches for the gate, I was surprised to hear P use her full name. Come on Baby, such a cliché. Funny thing is that it worked… for about 5 seconds. She completely turned around and just looked at P with this priceless expression. Seasoned and responsible parents that we are, we busted out laughing and were happy that at least she recognizes her name.
Baby S does not hear her first name on a daily basis. Ever since her brother came up with her nickname, it just took a life of its own and she simply became S to us. Sure we had to write it more times than we cared on legal documents, and we sent an e-mail to friends and relatives with her Chinese and American names. But she’s been S for about 3 years and that is a hard habit for us to break.
When I heard P use her full name, my first thought was “Uh oh, she is SO going to hate our guts when she has to start writing her name.” Baby S has both our last names but in our defense there is a good reason why we used both (consistency), and both last names are only five letters in length. OK, once you add the hyphen, we are talking about eleven characters. I hope she does not get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome before she reaches first grade. In the meantime, P and I have to find someone to blame about this. Any volunteers? :) Furthermore, what happens if she marries someone with two last names, hyphenated like hers, to prevent separation? Will our grandchildren have four last names? Because they are really going to hate us. Heh, you can tell we really thought this one through.
Remember the movie Parenthood? One of my favorite scenes is when the blond little boy places a bucket on his head and then walks into the wall. Rick Moranis’ line to Steve Martin of “How proud you must be…” really gets me. Well, look who are the proud parents of a bucket wearer. We are really proud of her; mainly because she did not walk into a wall.