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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Valentine's Day! Sadly, I haven't been chatted up by any patients, but I have looked Lisa in the eye and told her I love her. She was asleep at the time, so I don't think she noticed. But fortunately she was woken up a few minutes later, when Amelie discovered the cuddly romantic bear I'd hidden in the living room, and ran into the bedroom to show Mummy.

As it happens, stolen goods aren't the only thing Amelie can handle. She can also cope with any challenge life throws at her. A couple of months ago, Lisa bought her this book...

I Can Handle It! By Susan Jeffers & Donna Gradstein
It's basically 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway' for children. You might think that three is a bit young to start on the self-help books (I certainly did), but despite the fact that it's aimed at slightly older children, and the only pictures it contains are of stick men, the 'I Can Handle It' book by Susan Jeffers has become Amelie's favourite bedtime read.

Every night, Lisa reads her a one-page scenario from the book, featuring a child who's facing some kind of dilemma, problem or difficult situation, after which Amelie shouts "Let's see how they handle it!", and they move on to the solution.

Up to now it's been difficult to gauge whether Amelie is learning genuine life skills and coping mechanisms, or simply enjoying the stories, but finally, after two months of self-help heaven, she's proved to us that she can successfully analyse a situation, recognise the problem, and apply the lessons she's learnt from the book.

She was on the living room floor last night, building a tower out of Megablocks, when Lisa came in and told her it was time to get ready for bed. Amelie ignored her and carried on building, so Lisa told her again. This time she replied, informing her mother that she was busy building a tower, and needed to finish it first. Lisa responded by saying no, she wanted her to come to the bedroom immediately and start getting ready for bed.

At that point Amelie stopped what she was doing and put down the Megablocks, before turning to Lisa and speaking with the clear, assertive voice of a confident child:

"Mummy, remember the 'I Can Handle It' book. You need to be patient and find something else to do while you're waiting."

She then went back to her tower.

I don't care if Amelie learns nothing else from that book. The look on Lisa's face was worth the purchase price alone.


Phil's Mum said...

I haven't laughed so much in a long time!!!  Though, if she'd said it to ME, it wouldn't have been so funny!

Lisa said...

At least she didn't have her arms folded while she was saying it. That's probably next week.

Peter Chapman said...

You need a camera connected to your forehead, constantly recording.

Phil said...

I know. We might have to move into the Big Brother house, just so I can get these moments on film.

Peter Chapman said...

 Although not when you're scrubbing the bathroom floor thanks.