Obedience training

So, Lily keeps trying to put my shoes on. This is not a sensible idea, as the only shoes that I own that aren’t broken or regularly inappropriate are walking boots, and so she ends up looking something like this:

pox in boots

This was taken in May when she had chicken pox, but you get the idea.

So now I have a toddler who likes to find out where the boundaries are, so she can get on with her life and happily play inside them. The process of finding where the boundaries are is not a process I always fully enjoy. It means exploring all the things you can do with a cup with no lid on. It means relocating small plastic objects for a rainy day. It means checking that wax crayons taste as good as they look and whether the wheels come off anything other than the pram. It can involve wiping the floor in all the wrong places (see under Grieg). It often involves humour. Today I wanted Lily’s help taking the washing out of the machine (easy), hanging it (difficult) and leaving some of it on the bannisters without doing an impression of a statue dressed as Mother Teresa (impossible).

Lily loves playing on the computer, and now that I am bored with CBeebies finest online games for pre-schoolers, I thought about helping her learn how to write something. It’s not as precocious as it sounds. We both know she hasn’t a clue what she is doing.

Imagine my surprise then, when I told her I wanted her to type the numbers from 1 to 9 and we achieved the following:


121          33333333334567888890

She did especially well at typing 4, 5, 6 and 7 only once.  This gave me great hope, and I showed her where the letters were for typing Lily, and I quote:



Ok, so I should have realised that was as far as she would obey me without wanting to stretch the boundaries again, but I thought to myself that it wasn’t much more to ask to see if she could type Elizabeth.

elii\z\cacxbvgfegggggggggggggtb444444099 she typed, and then said ‘Seeya’ and jumped off my lap.

No doubt she wanted to put her shoes on again (this is one of her favourite things). Fine. At least no one had been checking to see all the things you could do with them.



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