In dealing with recalcitrant behavior it's nice to have a bag full of tricks.
Little tricks quickly grow old and wear out, though.
They don't do anything to heal or regenerate the heart,
but they do provide ways to avoid the booby traps
the cantankerous ones might set for the wary parent,
and they help the contrary one realize they aren't in charge.
The trick pulled from the hat for today was jumping jacks.
Garbled, undecipherable speech, "forgetting", sluggishness, sudden inability to write numbers, and other various and sundry purposeful annoyances were cured with a round or two of jumping jacks.
To be sure, the first few sets caused sparks to fly,
but mad jacks don't count...
only happy jacks pass muster,
depending on how much energy one might have for mad jacks decided how
many happy jacks were required.
Sometimes a little humor goes a long ways.
Other times Mom does jumping jacks right along with the kid,
To show it can be a blast.
The point is to cause "jack" to refocus his attention...
Or it might just be to make trying to push buttons more work than it is worth because, you know, sometimes the child would like to make Mom work very, very hard to understand him, or to remind him, or to help him, or argue with him... but if she can save her breath and turn the tables on him he just might get tired first.