Tuesday, December 11

Can You Hear Me Now? What About Now? Now?

Yesterday at this time I was living high on the knowledge that some of what I say to the Toddler actually sinks in to her thick little skull. I was so very excited and so pleased to think that we might just be making some progress . . . now? Not so much.

Anytime a certain little someone finds it necessary to throw some sort of fit, I find it necessary to turn into a cold-hearted statue that has nothing better to say than, "Are you done yet?" or "When you're done, we can talk about (whatever it is that has her blowing smoke out of her ears)." I refuse to allow a few crocodile tears, yelling, foot stomping, or death threats sway my resolve to raise a child who asks nicely when she wants something. A little 'please' now and then never hurt anybody.

Anyway, Shell (the world's greatest daycare teacher) has been reporting some minor issues with nap time. Someone who shall remain nameless (but she's the 32-inch tall boss of our house) has been fighting naps as if her life depended on it. Trust me when I say the girl still needs that afternoon nap. She needs it like she needs food, water, and oxygen. So yesterday Miss-I-Don't-Sleep was getting all sorts of cranky because Shell thought she should take a nap like the other 20 Toddlers. Finally, Shell walked away and left the stubborn one to her moping and whining and fitting. A few minutes later, the Toddler walked up to Shell and said, "I'm done now, Shell." And POOF! the fit was gone.

See why I was excited? See that? She figured out that she needed to stop throwing a fit all by herself. Pride emanated from my every pore when I realized what had transpired. But now that pride has been sliced into a million little pieces by the double-edged sword that is a Toddler having heard what she's been told.

Tonight we made the unfortunate error of trying to stuff our faces at KFC. I say "unfortunate" primarily because holy-heck was that crap gross. Never before had Alexis met a bowl of macaroni and cheese that she didn't want to take a bath in, but tonight she spit it out so fast I thought I was watching a new form of food Nascar. While I tried to convince her that the mashed potatoes weren't poisoned, she tried to convince me that there was a new sheriff in town. Or at least the laws of the land had changed. She would.not.stop standing up in her chair, all the while watching my every twitch to see if maybe, just maybe, this time I would suddenly change my mind about the whole 'standing on the furniture is bad' thing. I could actually see her thinking through her every move.

"If I stand up now, will I get in trouble?"

"What about now?"

"How about now?"

"What if I stand up backwards. Will I get in trouble for that?"

"How about now?"

"I'm standing up s l o w l y. Is that bad?"

"What about now?"

Each time she would plant those tiny little shoes on the top of the chair, all I would have to do is say "sit" and she would --hesitate-- then plop back down. Then try it again.

Just as I felt my last nerve get tweaked to its absolute limit, it was time to go. So we wandered over to everyone's favorite place to lose their patience, K Mart. This time, it was time to test just how long you can dawdle before getting in trouble.

"I'm walking s l o w l y. It's SO f u n n n n n."

Alexis, let's go.

"Hey, look! Something shiny! Let's touch it."

Alexis, let's go.

"Is this floor white or cream? I need to investigate it more closely. I think I'll sit down."

Alexis, let's go.

"Is that a ball?"

Alexis, let's go.

"Mommy, there's Christmas lights over there!"

Huh? Wha? . . . Alexis, let's go.

"Wow! Would you look at my shoes. They're Nikes!"


On and on we went, dragging a quick five-minute run into the store into a one-hour extravaganza. Each time I would fuss at her, she would suddenly snap back into shape, only to go back to tight-walking that line between good and bad a few seconds later.

So, yeah, she hears what I'm saying. But she's pretty sure if she keeps stomping on my last remaining nerve she can break me.

I will. not. be. broken. I don't care how cute she is with pigtails in her hair.


  1. Okay, first of all Micah is in love with Alexis. He's all "Ook, ook!" and grinning from ear to ear. (Look) It must be the cute pony tails.

    Be glad she at least hears you. Micah feigns deafness. Pair this with 4.5 years of failing every hearing test ever administered and one had to wonder. He passed his last test with flying colors. Now we know it's incredibly selective hearing. Can you smack them around in public?

  2. Oh, you have your hands full....she sounds so much like my Ashlyn. The good news is that they grow up to be independent, self sufficient adults who don't take crap from anyone. They will not settle for less then what they believe they deserve. And while my last nerve is stomped all over daily - I try to remind myself that in the long run, this is a good thing. When that doesn't work - find some alcohol ;)

  3. Anonymous9:37 PM

    It has got to be a toddler conspiracy. I swear Cooper is going through the exact same phase right now - pushing me to the absolute edge, and then stepping back just in time. I wish I had a suggestion or solution. Or at least a really strong drink.

    And the pigtails! LOVE them.

  4. First, this is wonderfully written! It was so fun to read!

    Second, does it make you feel better to know that you are SO not alone on this one? 'Cuz you're not.

    Third,(and this won't make you feel better)they still do that whole selective hearing thing when they are older. And the eyelash batting. And the toeing the line. And and and...

    Woo Hoo. Mommyhood is so awesome!

  5. My son, 2, is into the Terrible Two's Temper Tantrums. I'm beginning to think he actually likes crying. LOL! You're little girl is precious.

  6. Oh - she's pretty darn cute - I don't know! She sounds like she's got her own little mind - gotta love those assertive types - makes for wonderful grown-ups. Take care. Kellan

  7. Oh, but she's sooo cute! C'mon mom!

    Happy, our two year old, is a very laid back kind of guy. We're lucky. Oh, he throws tantrums, just not the extreme kind, and not in public, yet.

  8. Lemme know how that works out for you!

    And I completely agree with you about manners. They are gonna have them if I have to kill them. Rude children are a HUGE pet peeve of mine.

  9. awwww...she is sooooo cute, pigtails and all! do what i do...slap her upside her head...just kidding but, it's what i picture myself doing when my son does things like that! news...it's not going to get better...they get more obnoxious! my older kids have made me realize how badly i need to move out of town and leave no forwarding address...was that whiny? :)
    have a great night!

  10. jennifer10:18 PM

    She is pretty cute, I think I might have to give in to her every whim :)!

    Also, my son has suddenly decided to buck naps! I wonder if there is something in the water?!

    Jennifer, Le Binky Bitch

  11. It's all about who's standing at the end! My kids are battlers, too. Their goal is to find my Achille's heel, but like you I.will.not.be.broken!

  12. the "toeing the line" thing...it ain't gonna stop, believe me (mom of a pre-teen).

    The methods just get more sophisticated *insert rolling of eyes here*

    For now, its the pigtails combined with the innocent eyes that work to their advantage. Sooner or later, they learn just what to say and do to lull mommy into a false sense of security :P

  13. *sigh* I actually miss the toddler years. Now... I've got a teenager. Who absolutely hears what I tell him. And proceeds to blatantly ignore it. Letting me know he heard me, but is now choosing to exercise some of that "free will" I've been trying to teach him.

    It was rather difficult to talk through my laughter one evening when he pointed out that while he was choosing NOT to act like everyone else and follow the crowd about a certain subject, obviously I wasn't taking my own advice....I was acting just like everyone else's parents! *sheesh*

  14. She IS pretty darn cute with those ponytails.

    Don't you love how they test the boundaries. You can just SEE it in their eyes. I love your response, though. Completely no-nonsense and I may just have to steal it from you.

    Lately when Punkin starts whining in the car, I threaten to leave her on the side of the road. It usually quiets her down pretty quickly! :)

  15. Madame Q - you'll have to be careful with that one. I've learned the hard way not to say anything you don't mean. My kids called me out on that very threat once.

  16. I'm sure SOME of it is sinking in. Be vigilant - you are strong! Extravaganza!! My favorite word used in a post - yay! I bet all the rain we've been having is really putting a cramp in your light stringing, huh? I thought of that while it was pouring again yesterday.

  17. Can we say two? Oh, my. Sounds like the war of the wills is quickly taking over at your casa. Good luck. The standing in the chair thing? Does NOT go away anytime soon..

  18. I love this - because my kids are all grown up - well, mostly grown up!!


  19. LOL!!
    She is gorgeous! We've been there, we're still there at times.
    Sounds like you're doing a great job!! Be glad she's testing boundaries now. I've heard it's better when they do it young, than later in life :-)

  20. Oh darlin,

    You will be broken a thousand times between now and the age of (where am I now?) at least three years three months.

    The thing is, you pick yourself up and try again, just like they do.

    They are relentless little monkies, though.

  21. You people are not making me feel any better at all. I want to hear, "Hang in there! It only lasts a few weeks!"

    Perhaps I should start drinking. Heavily.

  22. She IS oh so cute! And that was very validating. Thank you.

  23. yeah, those pigtails are pretty hard to resist! :)
    but at least you're being strong and consistent against that itty bitty person with the HUGE personality and opinion...as long as she doesn't kill you first.

    and you're way braver than me--I would just walk around the store with Gavin in the cart, whether he liked it or not, primarily because he could run (and still can) a LOT faster than me.

  24. Collen--There's a simple equation that I use to determine whether to fight the meandering or fight the cart. If Alexis + Cart = An explosion much like Hiroshima, she gets to run around. It happens about 2% of the time when I'm alone with her and about 98% of the time when Daddy is along. Not that I've noticed a pattern or anything.