Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in manipulation and high expectations

As you know, we are in training. But not just toilet training. Oh no. My ambitions for social engineering go much further than that. I want to get Peaches doing all the things Recaro and I like as soon as possible so that we can maximise our family fun before she turns into an anti-social, bored and argumentative teenager. (There's a 50% chance of this happening, because I was a witch as a teenager and Recaro was an charming young man).

So far we are making good inroads into preparing Peaches to sit with us and not run around for the duration of a 45-minute church service every Sunday. We've been taking her to church for at least a year and she's gone from attempting to bottom shuffle up the aisle, to sitting with us as she munches on breakfast snacks. Right now, she's making just one escape attempt at each service.

We had a lucky break in that when we began, they moved this service into a smaller side chapel and we could take her out into the main church for a mid-service scamper and explore. When the congregation grew too big for the chapel, Peaches was already familiar with the church and was generally happy to stay with us.

This weekend, we decided to shift our territory for social conditioning to a nature reserve and the golf club.You might think the nature reserve isn't much of a challenge. But there are DITCHES, very muddy beaches and bird hides often used by very quiet elderly men who like to look at the birds and not be disturbed by small children. Fortunately the reserve was really quiet, so this introduction to bird watching went really well.

First of all we took time to smell the flowers.

Before ripping them into little pieces. See how they fall apart...

We took up residence in a bird hide to breakfast on chipolatas, ketchup, boiled eggs and coffee. It was delicious. Adventures don't come much easier or tastier than this. By the way, we saw a kingfisher and spotted some seals basking on a sand bank.

After a midday nap and some more food, Peaches and I went to meet Recaro at the golf club. It's a middle of town golf club, only nine holes and very quiet. It's possible to play millionaire's golf here and pretend that the world is here for your convenience.

Peaches seemed to embrace that idea pretty quickly.

After waggling her golf clubs in a very random fashion at golf balls on the putting green, she decided to check out the course itself.

If you look closely at the silvery patches by her feet on the 9th green, you'll see that the ground is miraculously resisting any effort to soak up and disguise her very public accident.

Noone was on the course and we pretended everything was A OK. I was hardly going to whip out the wet wipes and start polishing the green. I'd have looked like I was the one in need of social-conditioning.


Trish said...

We have the 50/50 thing going on in our house too. I was a hellion and kind of popular self absorbed, snobby teen not really interested in academics. My husband on the other hand was a smart and charming young man that was friends to the masses. Right now my son is leaning toward his dad, my older daughter towards me... the baby is too young to tell, but if I had to guess she takes more after her mom. Ugh! Karma is a "you know what"!

gigi said...

What a wonderful day for your family and we all have those little unexpected accidents :)
The greens were so pretty and looked just like they needed for someone to roll all over them. Who could resist?

Madame Queen said...

When you're done with Peaches, can you head over here and train Punkin to sit still in church? We've tried everything and NOTHING works. I think we'll be still be sitting in the cry room when she goes off to college.

Adrian said...

What are chipolatas? Sausages?? Pancakes? Fruit? I remember them being mentioned in one of the Harry Potter books, but I didn't know what they were.

That's wonderful that you can get Peaches to sit still in church. Blake is 10 and he still can't do it. We let him leave to go and "help" the younger kids in Sunday school. Don't know if he's all that much help, but he's happier if he can move around a bit. I think that's the big difference between girls and boys. My boys at least, always want to be moving.

scrappysue said...

i wanted to click on that pic and see the puddle! i would say you are laying some wonderful ground work now for the teenage years, and while she will be BORED, ANTI-SOCIAL and ARGUMENTATIVE for a SHORT TIME ONLY (because of the work you are doing now), she will turn out just lovely, so don't go wishing it away. it never occurs to me to compare my girls with myself as a teenager, because there IS no comparison! she'll be 13 before you know it and hopefully still has those gorgeous golden locks!

adrian - chipolatas are thin, long sausages (well, they are here)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You have just the right idea!

Christon said...

Fun Day! Peaches is soo stinkin cute!

SaraLynn said...

Awww...what fun!

CC said...

Weren't y'all supposed to be wearing all white colored outfits before stepping on that course??? ;)