Sunday, May 31, 2015

Parenting Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Style

Wouldn't it be great if there were cures for children like:

  • the interrupting cure
  • the won't-pick-up-toys cure
  • the answer-backer cure
  • the selfishness cure
  • the never-want-to-to-bedders cure
  • the slower-eater-tiny-bite-taker cure
  • the fighter-quarrelers cure
  • the thought-you-saiders cure
  • the never-want-to-go-to-schooler cure
  • the waddle-I-doers cure
  • the crybaby cure
  • the bully cure
And the list goes on and on...

As parents, we've all dealt with a child who needed one of the above cures...and I can attest that I've needed almost all of them at one point of my motherhood or another.

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

I remember the book series that I loved as a young girl, written by Betty MacDonald. Incredibly, these books were written back in the 1940's and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, the main character, who had an unusual way with children, had the answers to all of these cures - and more! (If you haven't read the books, I would suggest reading at least one to your children!) I believe movies have been made out of the books, as well, but don't quote me. I've never seen them.

Cures that Work

For example, for the Answer-Backer Cure, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle gets a call from a mother who is fed up with her impudent, talking back daughter. What's her "cure"? She loans the mother Penelope, a parrot who is just as rude as the little girl. When she gets tired of getting a taste of her own medicine, the little girl decides that Penelope can go back to where she came from and promises that she won't be rude ever again.

Great idea, huh?

One of my favorites was the Never-Want-To-Go-To-Bedders Cure. Mom and Dad leave for the night while Mrs. Piggle Wiggle comes over to implement her treatment. What does she do? She keeps the kids up watching television until they are so tired, they start falling asleep. But, that's not enough for Mrs. Piggle Wiggle! She keeps nudging and waking the children, loud and obnoxious, in order to keep them up all night long.

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle don't play around!

Cures for Today's Children

I honestly haven't figured out what cures will work for today's children. I wish Betty MacDonald was still around to write newer versions for parents of the 21st century!

I have, however, come up with some of my very own Mrs. Piggle Wiggle strategies. (giggle, giggle) Or, maybe I stole them from ones that I read but truly do not remember. Here are a couple of mine that I use on my own kids...

The Bugging-Mom-Like-Crazy Cure

You know the "bugging Mom like crazy" syndrome. That's when you have a child (or two children....or maybe even more) who spend the entire day bugging you like crazy. What's a Mom to do?

This Mom bugs the child (or children) back by saying, "Do you have gas?" (to a child who keeps moaning and groaning because they aren't getting what they want) or "Na-na-na-na-poo-poo, I can't hear you!" or other similar, rather annoying sayings to let them know I'm not listening.

I know, it's so grown and mature of me, but sometimes, you have to bring yourself down to a child's level. Annoy them back.

The "It Wasn't Me" Cure

This is, by far, my favorite cure of all. Now, I have 9 children so when the It Wasn't Me, I Didn't Do It and other exclusions start flying around, I have two choices...either become an investigator/detective or just walk away without answers - or with a bunch of fingers pointing around. 

This cure isn't as easy as it seems. You have to STOP asking Who Done It. Which, of course, is harder than it seems. Don't ask and a child or two will eventually tell. Just let the children know how let down you are and the truth will eventually come to you. 

But if it doesn't, you'll just have to remove whatever is being done in the future. Did someone drink some off-limits soda or spray all of your air freshener? You will need to find a place to keep that stuff where the kids won't find it. Markers? Snacks? Put them up! Or don't keep them around the house.

You probably have a few "cures" of your own...feel free to share them in the comments! 

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