This past week, I got caught by Maddy while sitting ON THE COUNTER talking to my Grandmother. Hands on her hips and fierce eyes matching her tone, she thoughtfully reminded me that “MOM! WE DON’T SIT ON THE COUNTER!”. Apologetic, I got off, thanked her for keeping me in line, and finished the conversation with my grandmother on the floor. The dogs were thrilled, and our cat wandered over to take advantage of the newly available real-estate of my lap.
After finishing the phone call, Maddy came over to elaborate on her “catch”. We talked about how we weren’t USUALLY supposed to sit on the counter… but wondered if perhaps we could make an exception for talking on the phone. Although Maddy usually avoids talking on the phone (to anyone) like the plague, she was surprisingly interested and agreed.
Not very long after, Maddy asked if she could sit on the counter and call Nana and Grand-Nana. AMAZING! To date I haven’t been able to encourage her phone conversations to really engage with distant family… but somehow tossing in the opportunity of doing something otherwise contraband was a hit.
Climbing onto the counter and getting comfortable leaning against the fridge, she called and talked to them. A FIRST! A RECORD! 20 minutes later, she was ready to close the call, hop off the counter and resume her antics but the job was done. Somehow, we’ve opened the door - just a hair - to long-distance communication. It just took relaxing one of our rules to do it. Pick your battles perhaps, but the solution to this problem ended up being the novelty of relaxing a rule, rather than strengthening it. How ‘bout that.