A game that I started playing with my daughter has turned into a great parenting technique. There was a commercial a while back for one of the “Buy your movie tickets online” companies in which a family was racing to get a movie. As they ran to the box office, the boy tripped and fell. His sister called out, “Man Down!” to which the mother shouted back, “Leave him!” Classic.
Anyway, I started doing the same type thing with my daughter when she was still too young to talk. “Monkey down!” when her stuffed monkey fell. By doing that, it made dropping things a game. (You must be very careful to never do this at the table, or food will be dropped constantly.) It is always good to come up with ways to let your children know that sometimes things just happen, and there is no need to worry or get upset by them.
It turns out, that this has actually become helpful to me. The other day, her shoe worked off her foot while we were in the store. I didn’t notice, and I would have eventually lost that shoe or had to go back through the whole store to find it. Instead, I heard my daughter say, “Shoe down!” (She matches the rhythm and pitch of the way my wife and I say it, it is soooo cute.) I turned to look, and sure enough, there was her shoe on the floor. Now, there are two of us looking after our stuff, and one of us isn’t even old enough to use a complete sentence. Not bad.