Recently in Parent Mind Tricks Category

One thing about having a kid start Kindergarten is that Karenna plays school all the time.  As I was cooking this evening, I heard her pretending to be her teacher and handing out pink slips to all the kids but Karenna, who--all too conveniently--got an award.

I was pretty occupied with cooking and the table needed wiped and set, so I called out to Karenna and said, "Excuse me teacher, but could you set an example for your students and lend the cafeteria ladies a hand?"

What else could Teacher Karenna do?  She tried claiming she needed to correct papers, but I said the cafeteria really needed her.  I had intruded upon her fantasy, and she had no choice but to help out the outspoken cafeteria lady or appear to have bad manners in front of all her bad students--and one very well behaved imaginary Student Karenna!

When we left off with Ailments and Altoids, Part I, Jude was in meltdown mode for the following reasons:

  • He had bruises.
  • He could not get Spiderman band-aids for them per the band-aid rule.
  • For some reason, Karenna's singing about numbers aggravated his ailment.

So Jude continued on his tirade, and I realized I had but three options:

  1. Put up with it.
  2. Break the band aid rule and suffer the consequences (namely, give in to the older sibling, Karenna, for every speck of an injury she could find as well).
  3. Think of something else...


The Placebo

Me: I can't give you a band-aid, Jude because band-aids are for broken skin.  What you need right now is a placebo.
Jude (still in meltdown): I want a pwacebo!
Karenna (on cue): I have a scab on my ankle.  I need a placebo too.


I went into the kitchen looking for anything I could find that looked vaguely medicinal, and found a can of wintergreen Altoids.

Both would surely recognize the candies by their shape and taste, so I cut one in half and grabbed two cups of water.  I told them they needed to drink lots of water with their placebos so they had to take a drink immediately after I put them in their mouths.  They did.


Karenna: Mine's not working yet.
Me: It takes about thirty minutes to start working. (By then she'll be at daycare and hopefully distracted, or...)  When you get to daycare, why don't you ask your teachers about placebos? (Oh, I am soooo terrible! Am I due for some righteous indignation when she gets home or what?!?)
Jude: Now my eye hurts.
Me: Placebos aren't without side effects.  Read the fine print, little buddy.  You can't have everything!

Jude wants more band-aids this time for a bruise, which goes against our rule.  He throws a fit and Karenna and I try to distract him:

Me: Tell me about your birthday party?
Karenna: Jude, how old are you?
Jude: No! I don't want to talk about it; my bruise hurts!
Karenna: Are you three yet?
Jude: Don't talk about me! It hurts my bruise!
Me: Okay, Karenna.  We should just stop.
Karenna (teasing him now by singing): 1, 2, 3... 1, 2, 3...
Jude (in meltdown mode): NOOOOOOO!!!! I DON'T WANT YOU DOING THAT! I AM SICK! YOU ARE HURTING MY BRUISES!

(Apparently Jude has some mysterious ailment that manifests itself in bruising and is aggravated by numbers.)


See Ailments and Altoids, Part II for the rest of this story...

My kids love band-aids.  They will beg and plead and find any minor scratch or slight discoloration or red marker on their skin on which to build their sorry little arguments.

So when Karenna was little I came up with this litmus test for band-aid use:


You must produce blood on a tissue in order to get a band-aid.

This rule effectively helps my little buddies exclude the following:

  • already-healed wounds,
  • bruises,
  • freckles,
  • marker, etc.
However, they do ask for quite a few tissues of late.  Anyone have a rule for tissue use?

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