As a family, we enjoy taking walks in the evening. Sometimes these walks involve the kids riding in a wagon. Sometimes they involve bicycles and tricycles. Sometimes, these are relaxing and enjoyable. Other times it seems to take forever to travel just a few feet.

A few months ago, we were having just such a walk. C was on a “stop” kick. He’d take three or four steps and then hold out his hand and shout “stop!” We’d coax, cajole, or bully him into walking – and he’d take three more steps and shout “stop!”

We considered the classic tactic of simply continuing to walk (forcing him to keep up with us), but the point of these walks is to relax and have a good time. We didn’t want to turn them into a battle.

So the pattern continued: step, step, “STOP!”, step, step, step, “STOP!”

After a half hour or so, I was so desperate that when he said “Stop”, I sang out ”in the name of love before you break my heart. Think it o-over. Stop! Stop! Think it o-over. Stop! Stop!”

I even did the hand motions.

This stumped him. He looked at me uncertainly and then started walking again. When he said “stop” again, I did it again. This time he giggled. After only a couple more times, he gave up on actually stopping and started trying to learn the song while he walked with us. He and I developed something of a routine, where he would sing/shout the “stop”s and I’d sing the rest.

Flash forward to last night. The kids were playing with the trains, and N was shouting “stop!” at C every time he picked up a train. C was really frustrated, but then he suddenly relaxed and started smiling. The next time N shouted stop, C looked at me and started singing “in the name of dove, before you break me hearties. Think it o-over.” I shouted out the ending stops, of course.

If any of The Supremes are reading this, please accept my heartfelt thanks.

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