Regarding Magoo

Do you remember the movie Regarding Henry with Harrison Ford, where he gets shot and turns into a vegetable and then has to do all kinds of rehab just to be able to speak and move his limbs and he has a huge transformation and it’s all kinds of inspiring?

Well we had a similar experience this morning only without Annette Benning, head wounds or physical therapy equipment.

You see Magoo is 3 and a half and absolutely refuses to put on his own socks. I’ll put them on his lap and he just lets them lay there all limp and sad and looks up at me with dog eyes and cries, “CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME! I CAN’T DO IT! IT’S TOO HARD!!”

I usually cave after a couple of minutes in interests of time if not of mercy. I know he’s old enough to do this but he’s used to be being the baby boy and frankly he’s too lazy to rehabilitate himself to the point where he can put on his own socks, or should I say “habilitate” since he’s never known how.

So this morning I had about an hour to spare before yoga class and a good incentive, a trip to his best friend’s house while I worked out, and I sat him down for an intense sock therapy session.

“I can’t do it!”

“I know you can. You’re such a big boy and you’re so good at trying and learning new things.”

“But I CA-A-A-AN’T! Please help me!”

“I’ll sit right here with you the whole time and you just try. Just pull the sock onto your toes to start.”

He pulled the sock barely over his little toesies and then threw his hands down to the sides.

“I can’t do it anymore. It’s too hard!”

“Oh but you’re doing so great already. You’ve got to keep trying.”

“I just can’t”

This went on for about 10 minutes, the coaxing, the cajoling, the whining and the cheer-leading. The first sock inched it’s way on slower than a slug on a tomato plant. Then he absolutely refused to do the second sock. Waterworks filled our family room. His struggles were too great to bear.

“If you don’t have socks on, you can’t go to River’s house.”

TA-DA. The second sock was on in less than 30 seconds.

And then it hit me. Somebody should have told Henry he couldn’t have a play date until he started walking and talking like a normal person and he’d have been painting Ritz crackers and fighting corporate corruption tons sooner. It would have been like a 10 minute movie. Oh. Maybe that’s why they dragged it out.

Either way. Guess whether or not I’m gonna be putting Magoo’s socks on for him tomorrow.

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16 Responses to Regarding Magoo

  1. Amber Snair says:

    That trick works well in our house too! Amazing what they can do with a little incentive. My newest, evil (bwah, ha, ha) trick is to say “Ok, see you later!” when my little one won’t get up to leave in the morning. She chases after me saying “Mommy! Don’t leave me!” as if I actually would. Might sound mean, but it works 😉

  2. This is SO funny. I actually liked that movie by the way, if I remember right. The whole “I. Can’t. Do. It!” scene with waterworks is oh so familiar. I love that you started an HOUR early- that’s genius! They are clever little devils (in the nicest way of course), aren’t they?

  3. p.s. I don’t know if you and you’re kids have ever read the story Knufflebunny (so cute), but ever since that book, we use the term “boneless” around here to identify that helpless on your lap act you were describing.

  4. Curses, typos! So sorry about that. I promise this is my LAST comment.

  5. FarmWife says:

    I loved that movie. My best friend actually waved good bye to the movie screen without realizing it as Harrison was being driven away from the rehab home.

    I wonder if sock “habilitation” would work on B.B. He & Magoo seem to have the same problems.

  6. FarmWife says:

    Oh, and no one in my house ever wants to wear pants either.

  7. Keyona says:

    Those kiddos always try to play on our emotions. Way to go mom!

  8. I need to hit the sock thing hard with Emma, too. It’s just so much easier (and faster) for me to do it for her!

    I love that he did it so quickly after the “threat”. It’s all about motivation!

  9. grammyelin says:

    My guess is a resounding “No”. I’m pretty surre the days of Mommy as senionr sock mistress and putter-on-er are all done. Go Mom!

  10. emily says:

    ha! i’m the same way – need the motivation!

    also i gave you an award at my place. 🙂

  11. Awesome Mom says:

    I do that all the time. I think I am a bit of an enabler with Harry though because he is very content to have me dress him. I guess I am so used to having to dress Evan due to his stroke that I just found it easier to keep on doing it with Harry. Evan is so good at getting dressed that he can get his socks on one handed!

  12. Shalee says:

    It’s amazing what a little motivation can do for a kid’s efforts towards something. I love having that on my side, especially when it comes to getting certain veggies in my boy and knowing that a yummy dessert is waiting in the kitchen!

  13. Marvyn says:

    “I don’t know how” is my best excuse to get myself out of some chore. I wouldn’t be surprised if our baby boy (due in March 09) follows in his daddy’s footsteps.

    Aside from incentive, I also read that making it into a game also motivates.

  14. Veep Veep says:

    It’s not just socks… it’s zipping up coats… sometimes shoes… never helping them eat ice cream 🙂

    “Hey Henry, no puppy for you until you ____” would have been perfect. 😉

  15. Faith says:

    Sounds just like my 3 year old boy…

  16. Natasha says:

    Dont give in be strong!!! It starts with the socks & then pretty soon that cute little boy that used to be able to do all these things cant & the next thing you know they are 5 years old and you are still in the same boat but they have more words to show thier dipleasure and announce thier “incapabilities” and it takes WAY WAY longer and they arent so cute anymore!!!
    learned this the hard way. Better to handle this now & have other fun challenges to look forward to later, there will always be more!!!!

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