Thursday, July 26, 2007

Turkish Delight


We’ve been giving Bub a jelly bean every time he goes pee on the potty.

This reward system would be a lot more effective if he actually ate the jelly beans. He did try one, and then spit it back out again, gagging. But he still likes them – when I give him one he rolls it between his finger and thumb, places it carefully in his ear, and looks startled when I scream and pull it out again. Eventually, he gets distracted and leaves it on the floor.

That’s where the Pie comes in.

Unlike her brother, the Pie loves jelly beans. She will sit on the potty, straining with all her might to produce a tiny little dot of poo and then jump up saying, “I did it! I want a jello bean!”

She gets one every time her brother does, of course, in addition to the ones she scavenges from under the coffee table after Bub has abandoned them. Yesterday, she found a little cherry-red bean on the kitchen floor. I had warned Bub repeatedly that he needed to put it in his mouth (not his ear), or else Pie would get it, but he took that advice in the spirit of philosophical dissent with which he receives all such words of counsel. So when Pie found her rightful booty, I hesitated, fatally.

“Whose jelly bean is that?” I asked her in a warning tone.

She froze, closing her fist over the contraband and looking carefully away from it. “It’s mine?” she said hopefully.

“I think it’s Bub’s jelly bean,” I admonished. “You should give it back to him.”

“No,” she objected mildly, “It’s mine.” Then, with a sudden movement, she popped it in her mouth, just as Bub came into the kitchen.

His face was a mask of horror. “You, you, you – you stole it!” he spluttered, aghast.

Pie chewed vigorously. “It’s gone!” she announced at last.

And some people thought stealing the duck was bad.

*****

Happy birthday, little Pie! You are lying and stealing, discovering your desires and pursuing them with vigour. “I want a yellow shirt!” you announced yesterday when I found you in your crib, stripped down to a diaper and pointing insistently at the dresser. “I want a hockey stick!” you told your dad, when he asked what you wanted for your birthday. “I want a jello bean!” you announce periodically throughout the day, gazing longingly at the kitchen cupboards.

The only thing stronger than your sense of greed is your powerful sense of self. “I’m Cate!” you announce confidently whenever confused grown-ups ask nonsensical questions like “Are you a sweetie? Are you my little girl? Are you a Pie?” No. You’re Cate. You wear the name I chose for you with panache, wholly unaware that so essential a part of your identity could have been selected by another, long before you were born.


The birthday girl ... and her hockey stick.

43 comments:

nomotherearth said...

Happy Birthday to the Pie! That nickname really suits her well - what a cutie!

I keep meaning to tell you that when I found out the Pie's real name (you left a comment on someone's blog recently), I was shocked because it is a name that I was considering for Baby #2!

Since Bub and the Boy have the same name, I am feeling very Single White Female over here. I am choosing to view it as simply a matter of us both having very good taste in names. ;-)

(And don't get too weirded out - should we actually have a girl, we've already agreed on another name..)

Kelly said...

Happy Birthday, Pie, stealer of oval-shaped confections!

Jenifer said...

A girl after my own heart. I love Jelly Belly's!

Happy Birthday Pie! Tell Mommy and Daddy they are doing a great job and you are the proof!

flutter said...

Oh before I was banned from sugar jelly beans were my FAVORITE, I knew there were more than a few reasons I dig your kid!

cinnamon gurl said...

Happy Birthday Pie!

bubandpie said...

Nomo - Oh, pick our name, pick ours! That would be so fun.

Mouse said...

Happy Birthday, Pie!

Love the jelly bean story!

Karen said...

Happy Birthday to the Pie - happy Jelly Beans to all!

Major Bedhead said...

It's what every Canadian wants for their birthday, isn't it? A hockey stick. I know that's all my husband ever wants.

Happy birthday, Pie!

T with Honey said...

Happy Birthday, Pie!!

If Bub ever catches onto the jelly bean-for-potty thing and you figure out how to STOP having to give him a jelly bean for every drop of pee let me know. We're working on that in our house.

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

Happy Birthday Pie :)

Aimee said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, Pie! And may you always find a jello bean waiting for you where you least expect it :)

slouching mom said...

Aww. Happy Birthday, sweet girl Cate.

Oh, and I think it's time to tell Bub that it's only going to get worse. It's best that he be prepared. If he thought his little sister was threatening (to his self-esteem, to his toys, to his books, to his food)...hah!

I'm here to tell you that Jack pushes his almost 10-year-old brother's buttons so successfully that it makes me gasp -- and Ben (Ben!) cry.

Luisa Perkins said...

Happy Birthday, young Pie!

Jelly beans are a great example of bad magic food--so bad they're good...

mcewen said...

Likewise, many happy returns of the day, although after yesterdays posting I don't know whether to go back to lurking.

I too love the developmental milestones of lying and stealing. Stealing is coming on beautifully and we're hopeful that lying will also become part of their repetoires soon.

Cheers

Lisa b said...

What a clever little girl.

Magpie said...

Happy Birthday, thieving stick-wielder!

Becky said...

Happy birthday, little girl. Good for you, and keep it up - pursue all your desires with vigor! :)

Oh, and I love that you got a hockey stick!

thirtysomething said...

Happy Happy Day to the little Pie..a.k.a. Cate!
Sibling Rivalry is only just beginning, I am afraid, poor Bub. What fun Pie will have challenging him...and she is prepared, with that hockey stick for sure!

Virtualsprite said...

Awww! Happy Birthday, little Pie! And may you keep finding those jelly beans...

Mad Hatter said...

Happy Birthday indeed, wee Pie. I knew that you and Miss M were cosmically linked.

kgirl said...

Happy birthday sweet Pie! Give that girl a jello bean :)

Omaha Mama said...

Oh Precious. Congrats to the Pie. You have to love a girl who loves her sports. (That hockey stick would go well with Brenna's new skates!) She's quite verbal for just two, oh my you're in for it!

Beck said...

Or "hock-knee snick", as The Baby calls them.
Happy birthday to your beautiful girl! She sounds like SO much fun.

mamakie said...

Happy Birthday to your little girl. Love the jelly bean story - my little one eats too slow so his big sister is always trying to scavenge his leftovers. She's also asked for strange things for her birthday - like a Lightening McQueen cake, unlike all the princess parties we attended for all her friends!

JMA said...

I love a girl who knows what she wants. And a girl who will eat food that has been in someone else's ear? Now *that's* a girl with intestinal fortitude.

Happy Birthday to Cate!

Angela said...

Happy birthday pie! What was it finders keepers losers weepers
She found it she kept it.

Bon said...

happy birthday, wee Pie.

she has a lovely name, and i shall raise a jello bean or two to her today. :)

DaniGirl said...

Ah, she's definitely a Leo, isn't she? A girl after my own heart.

Happiest of happy birthdays, Pie. Wishing you a year filled with jello-bean joy.

Susanne said...

Happy birthday to Pie. And Dani is right, definitely Leo. Aren't we adorable? (Okay, I'm already shutting up. I'm a grown-up after all.)

What I really like about people like the pie is that you know exactly where you stand with them. And what they want. And usually they don't hold a grudge for long.

Anonymous said...

Hope she has a wonderful birthday! But one thing struck me - I am so surprised by the number of great moms (in my opinion!) who use candy as rewards. Even sugar-free candy is still setting them up for bad habits later, as it looks and tastes exactly the same! What's wrong with a few raisins or some fruit, or even (rejecting the food=reward concept altogether), a sticker?

I'd be interested to read your thoughts!

Hilary.

Aliki2006 said...

Happy Birthday, Pie!

Andrea said...

Happy Birthday, Cate.

Patois said...

What a precious story. You go, little thief! You teach that big brother of yours that you'll put up with only so much. Happy birthday, Pie and mom.

bubandpie said...

Hilary - I know exactly what you mean - it seems counterintuitive to me too. In Bub's case, a sticker system is just too abstract to work - he has a lot of difficulty using language in reference to past or future events, so earning stickers towards a toy would not be a concept I could explain to him (nor does he seem to value badges and stickers as marks of good performance). Now, he doesn't actually value candy either, so it's not particularly effective, but since the "good job" reward didn't seem to be doing the trick for potty training, I thought anything was worth a try.

Pie is highly motivated by candy, as you know, and in her case I think it's kind of cruel. She has a potty that she can sit on while Bub sits on his, but she doesn't really ever seem to go on it, so I don't think she's quite ready for potty training yet - but she tries so hard, because she wants a jello bean.

Really, I think we're going to abandon the jelly bean bribe (I only have a few jelly beans left) - but I'd still like to find some kind of reward system, before we go the route of removing the diapers to see what happens (because I'm pretty sure I know what would happen, and it would be awfully messy). The trouble with healthy food bribes is that when I FIND healthy foods that Bub is willing to eat, I offer them as much as possible - there's not a whole lot I could withhold so as to make it a reward.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for explaining this, BubandPie, i really appreciate that you took the time to respond to my question (which, reading it again, sounds very critical, I am sorry!) in such detail. "Food" for thought indeed ;-).

Hope you have a wonderful birthday with them both!!

Hilary.

ewe are here said...

A very Happy Birthday to the Pie!

I adore jelly beans, all that yummy sugar. But we're going with the M&Ms for potty training over here... MF really enjoys them.

Terri said...

Oh, you have a July baby, too! I just finished posting about my oldest's upcoming birthday on the 31st.(Bribes didn't really work for her either when we were potty training.) Happy birthday to your little Pie.

Poppy said...

Happy Birthday to the jello bean lovin' Pie!

She's so adorable~

Lawyer Mama said...

She's adorable. Even more adorable with a hockey stick.

We're bribing our way through potty training Hollis as well. Although his crack of choice is the M&M. And if his brother steals one - WWIII.

kittenpie said...

Happy Birthday, Pie. You used her real name! Pumpkinpie wanted a hockey stick, too, as well as a grownup one so we could play with her. Gotta love those Canadian girls!

bubandpie said...

Kittenpie - I used it last year too, on her birthday. It's becoming something of an annual tradition. ;)

mayberry said...

I know I'm late, but I couldn't click away without offering a belated birthday wish to the lovely Pie. She's reminded me of how I once told my daughter she was brave, and her instant retort was "No! I'm Jo!"