water, the profligate waste of a toddler, and overburdened Mother Gaia - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son loves playing in the sink, bathroom or kitchen, and he would have the dang tap running all day long if we let him. This drives me bananas. I don't like wasting water - bad for the planet, bad for my pocketbook. I know he doesn't have the ability to understand either of these, though he does know that just letting the water run is "wasteful." We have tried giving him a bath as an alternative, we have tried giving him one receptacle with water in the sink, and when it's done, it's done, but he always wants more. We have tried giving him a sprayer bottle (this works pretty well when we can send him outside as it dispenses the water pretty slowly). Now, of course, he can turn on the tap for himself, so sometimes I find myself standing by the sink - he turns it on, I turn it off, he turns it on, I turn it off and keep my hand on it. How does one make a kid understand that it's not cool to turn the tap on full-bore and splash in the water for an hour at a time? Or do I just have to resign myself to lots of tap on, tap off shenanigans until the "use what you need, but don't waste our planet's resources" mantra actually starts making sense to him?

Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
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#2 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Get a rain barrel, mount it up over a tub outside, take him out there to play with that when he wants to play with running water?

And I found that letting Lina go full out with the taps a few times made her okay with having it turned on just a little. And if he was okay with it being on just a little, then you could run a trickle from your outside faucet and set a watering can underneath his playing and not waste quite as much.

Bathtime is also a fantastic faucet play time. Turn it on as low as possible while still being the right temperature and pop him in the tub while it's filling.
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#3 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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We have more than a moral dilemma when it comes to recreational water use... we're on truck-delivered, tanked water, and if it runs out before our next scheduled delivery, we have no water.

We do the trickle-in-a-stoppered-bathtub trick (we put him in an empty bathtub and turn the water on at a trickle and he can play until the water gets to the depth we'd notmally fill the tub to), but do NOT allow random frolickings with a running faucet because of our situation. I'll put a little in the bottom of the sink and let him play, but if he turns on the water once, I ask him to please leave it off or he'll have to be all done. If he does it again, he has to be "all done." Now, he's not even two, so "all done" can be for, like, five minutes. I usually don't even drain the sink. If he asks to play again, I ask him, "Will you turn the water on?" and he'll shake his head. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but in our situation we just can't let him sit with the water running.

Other fun items for running-water-play are colanders (bathtub) and funnels (anywhere).

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#4 of 10 Old 04-06-2010, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rain barrel - you are brilliant, Sapphire Chan! I think there's even a rain barrel workshop being run later this week through an Eco fest. in our town.

Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
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#5 of 10 Old 04-06-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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when jet was in this phase we bought a little table top fountain. we put it on a small table with a beach towel under it.

Mama to Jet 6/05, Marvel 8/06 and Cash and Fox 2/09
Expecting Ada Marianne 11/14
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#6 of 10 Old 04-06-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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Maybe too late for you, but we stopper the bathroom sink and fill with water and let DD play with that (she uses a step stool). I said "maybe too late" since your kid might want to turn the tap on again and overflow it? I am a serious tree hugging anti waste mama and I would be cringing about the running tap too. (LOL, I have to leave the room when my DH does the dishes, because I just internally freak out ).

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#7 of 10 Old 04-06-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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DS1 only gets to play in water at the sink if he's helping (or just gottend one helping) to do the dishes. We have a shallow well and run out of water frequently, and playing in running water is just not an option. Neither is letting the faucet run while you brush your teeth/wash your hands... It alwasy boggles my mind when people do things like that - its just such a 'duh! Wasteful!' thing to me having grown up with limited water resources...
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#8 of 10 Old 04-06-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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This worked pretty well for DD when she was 2ish. I didn't show it to her particularly to save water, but she saw it a couple times and then started insisting that the tap be shut off when she was brushing teeth.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtcZbN0Z08c (Sesame St clip - youtube)

nothing more to say I guess :
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#9 of 10 Old 04-06-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
DS1 only gets to play in water at the sink if he's helping (or just gottend one helping) to do the dishes. We have a shallow well and run out of water frequently, and playing in running water is just not an option. Neither is letting the faucet run while you brush your teeth/wash your hands... It alwasy boggles my mind when people do things like that - its just such a 'duh! Wasteful!' thing to me having grown up with limited water resources...
I almost WISH we could run out of water, as my DH isn't particularly conservative with his water use. He's not THAT bad but it's just not a priority for him. But I can't complain because he's generally mindful of other things. Also, if I hate the way he does dishes, then I should do them myself

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#10 of 10 Old 04-06-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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Would, like, an indoor fountain (that was easy to set up and take down) work? I dunno - just trying to think of a way to get a continuous stream of water without it just going straight down the drain. What about a grey-water catch system? I've heard of ones that hook up under the sink or that kind of thing...

maybe one of those beach toys that you pour the water through and it causes wheels to turn and such?

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

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