Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mama's Marco Polo

If you have Ninja children, or Monkey children, or Monkey-Ninja children, like I do, you are constantly concerned about where they are and what they are getting into.

Sorry, what's that? You don't know what those terms refer to? Let me enlighten you then.

The Ninja child.

You have everything your child should not be getting into put away. LOCKED away. But somehow your sneaky little Ninja child still manages to find it, or get into it. Prime example of this, The jar of diaper rash cream. You are standing there making supper for guests and you begin to think "Oh. It's quite quiet right now. I wonder what he's doing...." You go to find the child and find he is covered from head to toe in diaper rash cream. And not only is he covered in the sticky greasy substance, but the walls of his room and the hallway are to. And you think to yourself "I swear that was in the bathroom, that has the child proofing knob cover on it...."
(This was The Duck)

The Monkey Child.

This Child is constantly on top of something, still getting into something but is not quiet about it. Well, more accurately he is quiet to start but hasn't quite figured out how to be perfectly silent. Quite often you will find this child on the table coloring it with markers. (This is Squishy, my 2.5 year old) Or quite possibly atop the fridge, and unafraid of jumping at you as you walk past. (this was me.)

The Monkey Ninja Child.

This child will climb and be quiet about it. A prime example of the behavior is this: Imagine yourself sitting on the deck, the children playing nicely in the yard. You look up and fail to see one of your children. You get up and start searching the corners, and under and in the trees to no avail. You panic. You then notice him just on the other side of the 5 foot fence trying to get the cat back in the yard. He does this repeatedly. At lest a few times a week. You know it is illegal to tie him down, or otherwise string him up to a tree. Never mind that that is dangerous too. (This is Squishy as well.)

You need a solution to these problems. One that doesn't require searching places fruitlessly while your child could really be doing himself harm or, heaven forbid, get lost in your town and be taken somewhere by a stranger......

People, I have your solution!! This will work for children as young as 2. I call it Mama's Marco Polo. What you do is when it gets to quiet, or just every 5 minutes or so, you call out "*Insert child's name here* say MOMMY!" and wait for the response from your child. Your child should call out "Mommy!" Then you must thank your child and offer praise for responding. You can start with doing this on your lap and work up from there if your child is unresponsive to start with. This is going to save your sanity folks. You'll know just where to look and respond accordingly to the situation they are in.

I hope this helps at least one other parent out there.


  1. My parents did not use that solution for their two ninja-monkeys. Instead they bought us each a cowboy hat with a whistle on the chin strap, to wear while playing outside in the summer.

    Other parents said "Oh, you will go crazy with all that whistling!"
    My wise mother said, "No, it is when I do not hear the whistles that I will go crazy."

    At that time, "playing outside in the summer" was at a cottage and meant playing out of sight, on the beach. A rocky beach, with a small cliff to climb down to reach (or up to return from).


  2. Your Mother was a smart woman! That is a great solution too. Isn't interesting how much more worried we are in this day and age?

    Thank you for your comment!