Repetition

I’ve spoken about this before. In fact, you might even say that I’m repeating my diatribe about repetition. But, I can’t help it. Its such a huge part of what I do at the moment. Repetition. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Kids like repetition. To be a successful child-minder, you must also like repetition. Or, you must convincingly pretend to like repetition. Or find a way to make the repetition seem the same to the kid, but different to you (same same, but different).

Examples from today include:

CONVERSATION

Me to Eldest Girl: Your Dad didn’t do your hair this morning.
Eldest Girl: He did.
Me: He didn’t.
Eldest Girl: He did.
Me: He didn’t.
Eldest Girl: He did.
Me: Didn’t.
Eldest Girl: Did.
Me: Didn’t.
Eldest Girl: Did.
Me: Didn’t.
Eldest Girl: Did.
Me: Didn’t.
Eldest Girl: Did, did, did, did, did, did, did.
Me: Didn’t, didn’t, didn’t, didn’t, didn’t, didn’t…

Repeat ad nauseum in various silly voice and at various levels until Jenny realises how long it has been going on, and how ridiculous she sounds and stops. Eldest girl continues.

ACTION

Jenny plaits eldest girl’s hair. She is told it is no good. Eldest girl pulls out plait. Jenny plaits eldest girl’s hair. She is abused for it being no good again. Eldest girl pulls out plait. Jenny plaits eldest girl’s hair. Peace ensues. For 30 minutes. Eldest girl suddenly turns around and claims plait is no good. Eldest girl pulls out plait. Jenny plaits eldest girl’s hair. Troubled peace ensues. Until we are in the middle of the supermarket, and Jenny is holding ice-creams. Eldest girl screams plait is no good. Eldest girl pulls out plait. Eldest girl throws clips and bauble at Jenny. Jenny refuses to touch the hair. Eldest girl screams louder. Jenny tells her to do it herself. Eldest girl screams that she can’t. Jenny indicates ice-cream hands and says she can’t either. Troubled silence ensues. For 2 minutes. Eldest girl screams that hair is annoying her. Jenny relents and plaits eldest girl’s hair. Peace ensues. Until we are in the car and Jenny is driving…  

GAMES

I helped the eldest girl put together a ‘Welcome Home’ puppet show for her mother this evening, which was pretty hysterical, and also pretty appalling, but, hey, I’m not getting reviewed on it or paid for it, so I’m trying to let it go (not finding it easy though). The youngest didn’t quite understand that concept of a puppet show, but she enjoyed the clapping part of it, and made me re-enact the ‘Welcome to our show, why don’t you give us a big hand?’ part of the production over and over and over again. Then I got her to be a ‘volunteer from the audience’, come up and do a dance, so she got applauded, and it was suddenly never ending. She didn’t want dinner, she just wanted to play ‘puppet shows’. She didn’t want to go to bed, she wanted to play puppet shows.

The eldest came up with a game today as well, which involved rolling metal balls (similar size to marbles) down the corridor and hitting the doors at the end. She got bored of that though, and the next game was just to roll them all over the floor, screaming in joy and excitement. She pushed them one way. She pushed them another. She gathered them all up and let them go. She spun them round.You watch something like that, and you think, why do people bother coming up with expensive and complicated toys?

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