Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who ya gonna call?!

So like I said, Max is terrified of the monsters that live in his heater vent. We tried everything to prove to him that monsters do not exist... Though having monsters literally staring down at him from his walls really wasn't helping our case. Max spent the last few months camped out on our floor. Not the best arrangement, especially when Joey would trip over him getting up for work in the wee hours. During one of my many calls to my mom, she had the idea of vacuuming up the monsters out of the vent. Immediately the Ghostbusters theme was playing in my head. I was skeptical, but desperate.

So Joey got out the shop vac, or Monster-Vac, as Max now knows it. We made Max watch Joey suck up the monsters. It took a lot of self control on Joey's part not to pretend to get his arm dragged into the vent by a monster. Who knows what consequences would result from that trauma. Max then had to watch Joey dump the canister in the dumpster. Joey came up with the idea that the Monster-Vac also turns the monsters into dust (you gotta be quick on your feet with logic when it comes to monsters). Luckily, the next day was trash day, so Max was sure to watch the garbage truck take the monsters. Max explained to me that the monsters would meet the same fate as in Toy Story 3.

Wouldn't you know it, he has slept in his room ever since. He even grabbed Joey's face in both hands and said, "Thanks, Daddy for getting rid of my monsters." Sort of broke my heart he was so traumatized by these monsters that seems so real to him. Sometimes I forget what it's like to be a kid and have your own sense of reality. Those monsters were definitely real to Max, and definitely gone to him now! I wonder what else the shop-vac can get rid of? bad attitudes? Tantrums? Maybe QVC has a spot for us.

Here's another thing we're trying around here: a chore chart. I found this pocket chart for a buck at Target! Ok... so it was one of those times when I saw something super cheap and thought, "What can I make out of this?"
I'll be honest, it's hard to think of real work for a 3 year old... who is easily distracted... and doesn't always follow directions...the first 3 times I say them. But that's exactly my goal- a tangible way for Max to learn responsibility and a tangible way for him to see what he's accomplished. I put visual cues on the card so he could decipher them, and put the chart at his level to give him some ownership of it. I didn't realize how warm of a response I would actually get. He was excited to move over each card, and as I was shutting his door at bedtime he asked to "move his cards" tomorrow. Of course, the honeymoon period has worn off somewhat, but it's SOOO much easier to tell him to move his cards than say over and over... and over... and over... to put his dirty clothes away. Oh, and the "pray" card never moves to the "done" side, I mean, you should always have a prayer in your heart, right? :)

I came up with this idea because I learned Max is much more receptive to visual cues rather than speech. We're learning how to communicate with him better, and I think it's making our house a little calmer. Oh, and I already bought another chart for Luke. Gotta put 'em to work young!


Matt N Karen said...

Love this idea! I bought one of those too, can't remember where I put it now, but love this idea! Way to go Monster Busters!

Jen Johnson said...

That is fabulous! I love the whole monster vac! You are incredibly clever! And that chore chart is awesome!

Heather's Pink said...

Henry is cleaning toilets. I agree with they are never too young.