Hanley has an agenda. Like her mother, she's kind of Type A and an agenda makes her happy. Yesterday, I made the mistake of absentmindedly saying, "Give me a minute, Hanley. I need to let Lloyd outside before you and Daddy go to the doctor." "Doctor?" Hanley pondered. "Yes," I said. (Not "yeah." We're making a conscious effort to say "yes" around Hanley, because she says "yeah" and "yup" way too much, which is pretty much my fault.) "You're getting shots." I closed the door behind Lloyd after he ran outside, and turned to find Hanley shaking her hands and dancing in place, a small whine escalated into a wail. "Hey, now," I said, "stop that. You'll go to the doctor, get your shots, and it will be over very quickly, and you'll be fine."
After that, she kept repeating the agenda like a soothing mantra. "Hanley go to doctor, get shots, over quick, be fine!" I mentioned that she might get a sticker out of the deal. The mantra changed to "Hanley go doctor, get shot, get sticker, put sticker on knee, BE FINE!"
She has spring break this week, so I've been spending my days at Hanley, Inc. this week. After a rousing breakfast of pancakes, faux sausage (soy) patties, and applesauce, we went over the agenda. "Change diaper, get clothes, go to park, see kids, Hanley lunch, and BUBBLES!" "You forgot your nap in all that. You have to nap before we can play with the bubbles." Blank stare. Not the N-word! By the time lunch was consumed--a heaping plate of diced chicken and tomatoes in a carrot tomato "sauce" (read: baby food) over whole wheat noodles. And she ate three bites of my sandwich, thank you very much--her lids were heavy and she fell asleep on my chest in the rocking chair, something she hasn't done in quite a while. Two hours later, I went to see if she was awake and she immediately sat up and shouted, "Bubbles!"
Bubbles are an agenda I can definitely get behind.