[The new baby hippo at the San Diego Zoo! Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo]
It's February, and since I have had a month to chew on the resolutions I made for the New Year, and seeing as how Chinese New Year is soon upon us, I thought I'd give you all an update on Operation Hippo. What is Operation Hippo? You'd think it'd have something to do with an actual hippo, but it's just a silly safe word the boy can say if I start yelling at him. Which happens. A lot. The cat gets scared and cowers in the corner.
One day, I want to be a much calmer parent (once we have those hypothetical children,) so this was what we came up with to help me stop. The rule is I can't talk for 5 seconds once he says it.
Things I have learned since adopting Operation Hippo:
1. Screaming and yelling happen at a much more frequent rate surrounding the holidays. There was much less need for OH once mid-January came around.
2. Spending more time together and him playing less video games with obnoxious headphones on also greatly reduces the need for OH.
3. Less school work also reduces need for OH, but OH is at an alarming peak during finals.
4. Hippo is a fun word to say. Say it. Hippo. Cute, isn't it?
5. The boy will milk OH for all its worth and will even use it when I am not yelling.
Me: Ugh, you didn't take out the trash like I asked you to. And what's this? [picks up empty container off counter] Y'know, the trash can is right here, I don't see why you just leave your empty contain---
Me: What?! I wasn't even yelling! I was requesting at a moderate tone---
Me: Stop it! You can't hippo me when I'm not yelling!
Him: HIPPO HIPPO HIPPO!
Me: STOP IT!
Him: Well, now you're yelling. Hippo.
It's worked. And I hope it continues to work. It really only works because I really do not want to continue yelling and am conscious of it. Hearing the word 'hippo' is just a reminder. Unfortunately it can have annoying repercussions as evidence by the example I provided. Hippo.
How's it going with your New Year's resolutions?