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Our two-year refuses to sit in a booster seat but is too small to sit at the table. What should we do?

Play dough. Plastic dinosaurs. The entire bread basket and all the butter. Anything that will distract the child from the original issue of the chair. At this tender transitional age, the chair is symbolic. It’s not that they want to sit on the finely molded rock-hard plastic at McDonalds, the slippery faux pleather at your finer Cheesecake Factorys or the Italian made, handspun snow-white linen chairs in your formal dining room. The high chair symbolizes their conscious desire not to be a “baby”. Your two year old wants to be four already. Four year olds get to squeeze their own ketchup from the bottle. Four year olds get to use the butter knife. Four year olds get to watch Sponge Bob. Four year olds can understand what Sponge Bob is all about (and if anyone knows a four year old who can tell me, I’d appreciate it). Four year olds are rock stars to a 2 year old.

Enjoy the moment. When your child is finally four, their next target age is 16. They won’t want to be sitting in the back seat. They’ll be screaming to drive.

Every night my child wants to hear the same book again and again and again. Sometimes 2,3 or, even, 4 times. I’m so bored what should I do?

If your child likes War and Peace. You have a problem. Otherwise think of yourself an actor on a great stage of the world. Somehow those people get through a 10-week, 2 show a day run of The Crucible plus rehearsals. (A truly painful show to sit through just once.) Try reading your child’s favorite story with a French accent. An Italian Godfather accent. Run out of accents for the millionth read of Goodnight Moon? Imitate Christian Slater imitating Jack Nicholson, or even less creepy and annoying, make up your own. Try space alien.

My child used to share her toys and food with other children at the playground. Now she’s turned selfish. What happened?

She’s gotten smarter. That’s what happened. She sees that when she gives her food away. It doesn’t come back. When she gives her toys away. They don’t come back easily either. And when they do come back they’re wet, chewed, wrinkled, dirty, smelly, and sticky. Toys like bubbles and chalk come back majorly diminished. It’s the law of diminishing returns. And she’s not stupid. She may not know basic math but she understands economics.

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