Just for anyhow, to check their acuity, I spoke a few parables to my children this morning.
Once there was this lady who was absolutely surrounded with paper and snibbles and more papers. They piled up and up around her, until finally she was drowning in paper snibbles. All you could see was her hand, frantically waving for help, but when you dug down a bit, there she was, not quite smothered.
I spoke the parable rather dramatically, then at sight of Olivia’s scared little face, I ruined it and burst out laughing. That was when she spoke the Chortle of the Day and went to get the broom to help clean up the kitchen floor.
The other parable was for Rita.
Once there was a little girl who loved kittens. One day she dumped all her toys and treasures and blankets out on the floor. Then she went outside and caught her kitty. She put it into her toybox and played and played with it. After a while, she put it outside again, but now her room is a horrible wreck. She can’t even walk in it without hurting her feet. The little girl had better go clean it up before her mama goes in there with a garbage bag.
I should have known that the only predictable thing about three year olds is their unpredictability. She was totally unfazed. “That’s all right. We don’t like that stuff anyway!”
So there’s nothing wrong with their acuity. I decided that a good old, “Go, clean up your room,” nice and direct-like, was probably more effective. Just not as much fun.