Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cleaning Up

Today I spent a lot of time listening back to my textbook recordings.  Pookaloo played in the room with me, stopping by every once in a while for a quick nurse. 

And then, I heard a scritch-scritch-scratch noise on the wall behind me.  I turned to see her with pencil in hand, leaving her mark on the walls. 

I got up immediately, took the pencil away from her and told her pencils are for paper.  "Pencil doesn't belong on the wall, so now we have to clean up."  I went and got a moist sponge and handed it to her.  She likes to help clean, so she has the general idea of scrubbing. 

At first she cried and resisted.  I showed her hand over hand what I wanted her to do.  That resulted in more tears and resistance.  "Self!  Self!" she cried.  But when I let her have the sponge, she started scrubbing her face instead of the wall, perhaps misunderstanding what I wanted her to do. 

I was getting frustrated.  I wanted to snatch the sponge from her and and yell at her while I cleaned it up myself.

But I took a moment.  I thought about what I want to teach her.  I changed the tone. 

I turned to the other spot with scribbles and pretended I had just noticed it.  "Oh my, there's another mess for us to clean over here!"  I said with surprise and enthusiasm.  "Can you use your sponge to clean it up?"

"Yeah!" she said, picking up on my cheerfulness, and busied herself at the task.  She asked for my help in lifting her up to reach the high parts. 

Being two, she didn't really press hard enough to get much off.  I asked her if I could have a turn.  She handed me the sponge and I took a few swipes.  She then announced it was her turn again.  We completed the task like this, working together to get all the pencil marks wiped away.

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