This week I had to take a day to look after my older son as my younger was rushed to hospital for observation with an infection (we feared all sorts of terrible things – turns out he is better after a big dose of antibiotics). Anyway, this day of childcare afforded me an opportunity to continue my enjoyment of exercising my parental right to indoctrinate or condition my three year old boy into whatever beliefs and behaviours I deem necessary. We agreed it would be a fun game for Rudy to adopt a flying pose whenever he heard the Superman film theme tune. I could see immense social benefits in this skill. All was going well, but we were playing together in the living room, and Rudy was be-caped and generally in a Superman mood. I wondered about the extent to which this behaviour would be transferable to other contexts and unexpected situations. So I told Rudy that we would try out our game in the supermarket. I directed him to the kitchen and asked him to go and choose the fruit juice he wanted to buy – orange, apple or whatever. Off he flew. I then blasted the Superman theme from my iPhone and went into the kitchen. He was pushing round his pretend trolley. I turned up the phone: “Rudy, what can you hear?”
“I can’t play right now, Daddy. I need to get wholemeal bread, eggs and green milk…”
Looks like the work of conditioning is already well under way elsewhere…
Superman model by Rudy.
(On the subject of My Super Sons, here is an old Facebook status I dug up from last year)
Rudy: Daddy, is Sunny a person?
Daddy: hmm…that’s a tricky question Rudy. Where to start? Okay, do you think Sunny can give reasons or make plans?
Rudy: I think Sunny’s planning to do another poo on the carpet…
(My Super Sunny)