Rookie move

Peanut loves the bath, but some days is feeling obstinate. Shocking, I know, given his age and his temperament. So I broke out the classic fail-safe last night for the first time this year: “choose your bath color tonight.” A little cake gel colorant dissolved in a coffee cup and poured ceremoniously into the tub, and we had a whine- and struggle-free purple bath.

battle-free technique no. 1

Battle-free technique number one

Nor, this particular evening did Peanut want to brush his teeth. We proffered the toothbrush that blinks. To no avail. Offered a choice of toothpastes and the option to self brush first or after parental brushing. Nothing. We suggested an upside down brushing (dangling toddlers works for anything but three year olds are *so* over that technique) but he declined. We settled for the threat, our last resort: no teeth, no stories. If you say yes stories, you say yes teeth. Your choice. We have no stake in the answer.

Grumblingly whiningly sold. Clean teeth and the never-yet-missed two stories.

There must be a better way.

So I thought of you. I’m offering up this post for those of you who are struggling with or masters of issues of any kind…let’s do a greatest hits of how to get around our children’s behavior. The colored bath and the upside down teeth brushing are my favorites at home. In public, a special purse toy that only comes out when I need five minutes of quiet work for us. Haircuts and hair tangles, in our house, get homemade yogurt popsicles in the tub. And veggie avoidance that goes on too long get broiled (425 degree, olive oil and salt) veggies delivered fresh from the oven to a Peanut in the tub. Because my kid thinks eating in the bath is the height of decadence. Whatever, dude, every other kid gets good bribes, like candy, but you don’t need to know that.

And for doctor’s visits, which none of us fear but I know some families do, are scheduled later the same week as one of my doctor’s visits, so he can see everything happen to me first.

What do you do for the reluctant toothbrusher? What is your magic, fail-safe, works every time trick for some issue your kid wants to get around? What issue do you desperately need advice on? Feel free to post anonymously. Just make up a fake email account from yahoo or hotmail and ask or answer as you see fit.