Category Archives: Toddlers

Joe and Flappy


Friends, especially fellow parenting friends, I have opened a can of worms and want nothing more than to chuck the entire container into the ocean but I have no idea how. Last Thursday one-or both- of the boys was in that pre-meltdown fuss, the phase of “I’m going to start asking for everything I can’t have just so I have a reason to pitch a fit” and my immediate response was to distract and diffuse. Now, I have done a lot of distracting and temper tantrum diffusing over the past several years, and it doesn’t always work but it’s usually worth a shot if I can keep my own temper in check. So in this very tense, pre meltdown “everyone is about to lose their minds” scenario, I started pretending to hold a conversation between two birds; “Joe” a great tailed grackle (I had to look that up after the fact. Basically a large, very vocal black bird popular in this area) who speaks with a somewhat British accent (I say somewhat because I suck at mimicking accents) and Flappy the pigeon, who speaks with a slow, country-southern-cowboy ish drawl. These birds are wannabe thieves, and the entire premise to start off the conversation was their ill fated attempts to steal the boys’ cheese burritos.

The “stories” are nothing but conversations, with occasional sound effects (which I am also really bad at) there is no set up, no description, no other part of a “story”-it’s just two really dumb birds with goofy accents talking to each other. The boys LOVE them. They demand Joe and Flappy stories from dawn to dusk, and even distracting them with books only works for so long. These birds have-tried to hitchhike and gotten blown off a van while racing us home from chik-fil-a, plucked out all their feathers in an attempt to disguise themselves, glued themselves together, gotten zapped on a powerline, dropped rocks on their feet, run into windows, Joe got his beak stuck in the lock yesterday trying to pick it, and today he got slingshot into a pesky cat via Flappy and a powerline and Flappy got peed on by a dog while hiding in the horse’s rearend of their Trojan horse costume.

A small part of me loves that the boys enjoy the storytelling since there are no pictures and yet they can tell you exactly what happened and they laugh at appropriate places. But the biggest part of me is tired, and having a hard time coming up with more scenarios for Joe and Flappy. I can SEE a lot of doable sight gags in my head, but translating that into poorly accented conversation that gets across what is going on is more work than my brain can do currently. I managed to get away with just one story today (whew) but I’m sure there will be more to come. I have a few ideas in reserve-picking which car to poop on is one I’m keeping for our up coming travel adventure to the beach (thank you, Rebecca, for the idea!)-but I need more.

So, help a mama out! PLEASE share any ideas for stupid slapstick comedy gags that could be successfully relayed via conversation and minimal sound effects, and centers around two really clumsy bird thieves going after the toys/food of two boys. Extra points for verbal jokes or one-liners that a four year old could understand. AND GO!


***Shout out to my siblings who have already provided me with a bunch of ideas!***


Tickle, Tickle, Tickle


Cade is a rambunctious little man, and since I remember all to well what it was like feeling like my emotions were entirely outside of my control, we work hard to come up with ways to express what he is feeling and find appropriate outlets. No hitting, pushing, elbowing, headbutting, squashing, tackling, kicking, or poking other people (usually Zane) is the rule we struggle with the most.

If it’s an action out of anger it’s a definite Time Out and I remind him to call ME when he needs help with Zane and I’ll try to fix it. It get’s exhausting, but he is doing a much better job of calling for help when Zane sits on his Duplo tower instead of clonking Zane in the head with a brick. Though if I don’t respond quick enough all bets are off. Buh.

Often he just gets so stinking excited during play so he’ll chase a madly giggling Zane down the hallway and shove him. Then he gets time out. Ten minutes later repeat the scenario except he remembers not to shove him at the last minute and instead elbows him. Time out. Repeat the scenario with any of the above “no no” verbs and that is pretty much our day.

I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out an acceptable way of channeling his energy, but it struck me about a week ago that I kept telling him things in the negative, “Don’t do this, don’t do that, if he’s crying you need to STOP.” without giving him an acceptable positive alternative like I do with everything else.

He’s gotten better at “I calm down! *deep breath* 1,2,3,4,5” but only if I threaten him with a Time Out, the stinker.

When he’s feeling really excited he has the option of clapping or giving him self a big hug (instead of screaming, shrieking, and/or hitting things).

When he wants to play chase with Zane he is allowed to “tickle”.  I took the time to remind him to be gentle and if Zane cries he needs to stop, but he was thrilled to finally be allowed to DO something at the end of the chase. And this is where it gets cute. Cade says, “Tickle, tickle, tickle!”  repeatedly and wiggles his fingers in that pseudo pinching tickle toddlers do as he chases Zane down the hall. Yesterday I realized that the nonsense syllables Zane was spewing in between giggles wasn’t nonsense.

My 1 year old says, “Uh oh”, “duh-duh” (bye bye)….. and “tickle, tickle, tickle.”