Thursday, April 13, 2006

Passover Putty Prize Palooza (with Paddles)

At the request of the hostess, I brought Silly Putty to give out as afikomen prizes to all the kids at last night's seder. It was a great success, until the Mermaid Girl decided to make a necklace out of hers and it all got stuck in her long hair.

Amidst the suggestions of the other guests, including the kids ("I got gum in my hair once and it came out with peanut butter!") we borrowed some scissors and cut out the putty. MG sat patiently during the process, then politely asked for the putty back. RW gently broke it to her that hair-laced putty is no longer a toy, but is in fact ex-putty, that it had run down the curtain and joined the choir invisibule, and that, not to put too fine a point on it, we were going to throw the stuff in the trash.

And *that's* when the putty hit the fan, and MG, who had been the picture of polite guesthood for four straight hours, opened her mouth and screamed bloody murder. RW dragged her into the bathroom, where she alternated screaming and tearful sobbing farewells to the putty until we dragged her out of the house, calling goodbyes over our shoulders and promising to send the Prophet Elijah their way if we saw him on the way home.

The worst part: all the while, we knew there was an extra putty. But the second MG screamed, we knew we couldn't give it to her, at least not that night. The hair-trigger whining/screaming/crying combo is her Tragic Flaw, and we are determined to help her Overcome it (whether she wants it Overcome or not) by not reinforcing it in any way. We secreted the extra putty egg in our bags and will give it to her later.

The other worst part: Our hostess asked me to bring the putty partly in order to offset the paddle-ball sets (you know, those wooden paddles with a ball attached with elastic) that her husband insisted on giving, because it's his family tradition. She and I were both sure they'd be a disaster, that the kids would start zinging the balls at each other in a great Paddle Ball War. (Which, needless to say, never happened.) The putty was supposed to the the low-intensity distraction.

So, how were your seders?


Anonymous rachel said...

No seder here, but boy do I understand the "I was going to give it to you but now I can't because you're screaming" thing. That happens to us A LOT. All the parenting books (and other parents!) say that if you don't give them what they want, they learn very quickly not to scream for things.

OH REALLY. I should explain that to my boy -- "You're supposed to have reasoned this out by now!"

10:42 AM  
Blogger susan said...

Oh, poor everyone in that story. Curious Girl and I had a very similar problem involving the tragedy of her not getting to buy a princess book at Big Bookstore. She pitched such a fit, and I knew that we had some princess books and other stuff that my parents had sent waiting at home. But I couldn't mention them, and couldn't take them out, since I didn't want to reinforce the fit. It is a sad, sad thing.

Our seders have, on the whole, been interesting experiences--not perfect, but good enough given the shingles afflicting some of us.

10:05 AM  
Blogger That Girl said...

No seder this year (i have attended several as a guest).

You have to know you're doing the right thing and the future teachers and other parents empathize and applaud you - nothing is worse than a child who's parents give in to these tactics.

In a year you'll have forgotten all about the tantrums.:::crosses fingers:::

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Ms. Jane said...

And Moses said to Pharoh "Let my putty go!"

9:24 AM  
Blogger Lea said...

Here from Badger and Squid!

Ah, the scream for the Thing Gone But With Replacment Waiting That Is Now Ungiveable.

We know that one well. You have my sympathy, as well as many salutes for not caving on the screaming. It takes a strong parent to weather the kid storms.

10:08 PM  

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