Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Like a Shoomp



One of the care-and-feeding-of-Clementine tricks that has evolved over the past two years is the toothbrushing strategy. It's no longer strategy, just routine. As soon as toothbrushing time rolls around, the question is: "What do you want to brush your teeth like tonight?" and she has to decide. It's kind of a bypass to any fussing about the question of whether or not teeth will be brushed. Of course they will; the only question is: how, exactly? 

Like a monkey? An otter? Like a dinosaur? However she wants. In the early days, she only knew a few words, and it was mostly going to be elephant or monkey or dinosaur. But as she gets older, it's getting more fun. Clementine Pie has brushed her teeth "like a tulip," "like a Beatle," and "like a drummer," among others. (Sensing a musical theme? Just wait.)

A few months ago Clementine brushed her teeth "like a south-bound train," (from the Old Crow Medicine Show song "Wagon Wheel": "Rock me mama like the wind and the rain/Rock me mama like a south-bound train/Hey mama rock me") which was my favorite until the other night, when the answer to the question "How do you want to brush your teeth tonight?" was ...

C: "Like a shoomp."

Me: "A shoomp? What's a shoomp?"

At which point she proceeded to sing the refrain to "Come Together" by The Beatles, complete with the "shoomp" sound effect and drum beats and high hat tat-a-tat. 

That was pretty freaking awesome. 

I should clarify that when it comes to the actual act of toothbrushing, there is verrry little difference between the way a south-bound train brushes its teeth, for example, and a monkey. It's all in the lead-up. In case you're wondering.


I guess this is all part of an overall strategy to get Clementine using her imagination as much as possible, which is going well so far. Her toys all have awesome names that are not cartoon-derivatives (we don't do TV or movies or anything on a screen yet), like the mouse named Chickenbock, the gorilla Georgepop, the slutty pink mini-Barbie fairy Hoo-Shoo and her pink dragon Hee-Han (which were a sick-bribe on a pharmacy run), and the rabbit whose glorious, glorious name is [RASPBERRY SOUND]. Ha!


Have a lovely Tuesday, all! And if you haven't yet, you have a few days left to donate to Worldbuilders and put some of your dough in this fabulous pot that is nearing $200,000 (WOW!) all to be miraculously turned into life-changing livestock for people in poor and developing countries. This is so amazing, be part of it. Bonus is THE PRIZES. Read THIS POST to catch up. Fun Neil Gaiman stuff. Come on, be a Worldbuilder!









17 comments:

Little Willow said...

She.
Is.
AWESOME.

Anonymous said...

So adorable! I love kid stories. We've had to take the creative route with our kids too so it's fun to hear stories from other parents. I love C's names. My daughter calls her animals things like... "dog" "cat" "rabbit" "snake". We're still working on expanding her horizons on names...
~Lisa

Connie Onnie said...

She reminds me so much of my niece and best friend Gracie. While riding in my car & listening to The Black Keys, Everlasting Light she was sitting in the back bouncing her head along and singing "shoop shoop". I hope to someday to be as cool as Gracie & Clementine.

Alysa said...

Yes!! At the end of the diaper days (oh how I love the potty) our oldest could choose the kind of diaper he wore. Cat diaper? It meows while mom puts it on. Dog diaper? Monster diaper? You know what I'm talking about.

Kristan Hoffman said...

Your kid is already 20 times cooler than I ever was or will be.

--jenna said...

Who knew that reading your blog would entail so much excellent parenting advice?! As we expect our first kiddo, it's so refreshing to hear these stories about quirky, creative kids--I know too many who can only recite cartoon plots and think dressing up is limited to Batman.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

C's Papa here. Yes she is a whirlwind of silly names, ideas, and dances. And Jenna, while we can't say it's purely because of "no screen time," she doesn't name everything "Elmo" or "Ariel" just yet. Though it's surprising to us that people every now and then think she's missing out on something by not showing her tv/movies/videos of Elmo or Little Mermaid on our phones or something just yet. If it's up to us (and it should be -- I mean, we are her parents after all! :) it'll be a bit longer before she sees all that stuff. As another Mom we know said of her no-screen-time-toddler-girl: "Geez. There'll be PLENTY of time for her to stare at a screen (computer, TV, iPhone, iPad) when she's older." Amen. (**I should add that we do NOT think some TV/videos on the phone or computer are evil or bad, or that parents who let their kids watch media are bad parents in ANY way, it's just not something that we're using just yet. And since we have first and last say thus far, we're sticking with that for now**) Cheers! -Jim/Papa

Lauren said...

What amazing imagination your darling C. already has! It's a credit to the fantastic job you're doing with her, Laini and Jim.

Life is Good(ell) said...

I love this! I was just thinking your blog needed a new Clementine update! We do "what can find we find while brushing your teeth?" and she'll come up with foods that she ate (or wishes she ate) for dinner, various animals ("get that purple giraffe in my mouth, mama!"), etc. D has great names for her toys, too. Her Callico Critter bunny baby is "Dungo," a fairy paper doll is "Sosana," and a favorite bear is "Ferna." It amazes me that when she makes up a new name she remembers it and consistently uses it! (I emailed you on facebook, by the way, about Peggy Orenstein coming to Portland in a few weeks. She writes about how to raise girls in the Disneyf-ied princess culture that gets hard to avoid as they get older.)

Kate said...

Oh my goodness!!! Great strategy!!! :) I am so going to steal it, if you don't mind. :) That is pure brilliance!!! :) And I love how you're building up her imagine nation!!! :)

tone almhjell said...

Clementine is pure coolness. Shoomp indeed! We do a brushing song, which Magnus gets to choose, and I get to sing. The other way around would be too messy.

I can't say we've done the same with screen time, though I think it's a pretty wonderful principle. But it's all about what helps the everyday cog wheels turn, I guess.

Amber said...

This post made me smile! I KNEW you guys would be great parents. What a lucky little duck she is.

:)

anne said...

I love this approach. Especially as the question is not "do you want to", but HOW do you want to! So many folks run up against unnecessary parenting walls because they phrase the question in such a way that a choice is implied -- nothing wrong w/the idea of choice, but WHAT the choice is, that's the kicker. And there is plenty of time for her to become overly acquainted with all things screen, so why rush?

Evie said...

From now on I'm rockin' everything like a southbound train.

Angelique said...

Love it! How fun. We've had some really great made-up names in our house: blanket friends being called Letty or Patty and Patty's Mother (did you know blankets had families, too?) or Protector; pillow pets named Shimmy; and ugly dolls named Neighbor and Leuticium, etc. My young kids are both full of imagination, and yet, we've still exposed them to some media (*dodges stale bread*). Honestly, for us, it doesn't seem to have mattered one iota that they've watched some Sesame Street or Yo Gabba Gabba or Last Airbender (or was that us, the parents? Ahem.)... Phew, right? Making up stuff, just seems to be part of being a kid, whether we intervene heavily or not. Glad you're both enjoying this time with your girl. Tis fleeting...

Kjersten said...

What a good idea. I don't think my teeth brushing experience will be nearly the same for quite some time.
Also too, my favorite name is the rabbit's name.

Bridget Hall said...

Now that's how you make brushing fun! They could add that to dental plans in new york for kids who are just starting to brush on their own.

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