I began training my sweet little Hopey quite literally in a cow pasture. We lived in a small trailer in the middle of wide open fields, mostly inhabited by cows.
As soon as Hope was able to walk, I took her outside, stood her up about five feet away from me and called her to “Come.”
At first she just looked at me funny. Have you ever tried explaining a simple concept to an eighteen month old? She eventually understood, and being the sweet, compliant child she is, came every time.
But still we would go outside almost every day and practice. And practice and practice.
This was my first little girl and I didn’t want anything to happen to her. I wanted to know that she would come right to Mommy when I called. Eventually, I would stand much farther away; let her play by herself for awhile and then call when she wasn’t really paying attention; and put her on the other side of the van and call when she couldn’t see me.
It might sound a little ridiculous, but at the time it was really no trouble. She thought it was just a game.
I will say that practicing like this has been harder for me with the more children we’ve had. However, looking back, I really wish that I had done as much with the others as I did with Hope. There was still training, but I know there wasn’t as much.
(By the way, we practiced this same thing with the girls tonight after dinner. That and self-control was about the extent of today, but at least we did something!) = )
Back to Hopey, I’ll never forget when we were outside one day getting ready to get in the car; she looked right across the street at our cow companions and called, “Come. Come, cow.”
There’s nothing like seeing yourself mimicked by a toddler.