Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Oh so stubborn

Do you ever remember your mom saying to you, in a moment of supreme frustration when you were your most obstinate stubborn self, "I hope you have a child just like you when you grow up!"

Or was that just me?

Anyway, Mom, just so you know: I think your wish was fulfilled. I have a child who is just as stubborn as I was...am.

Ever since William learned to say "No," he's been even more determined than ever to Get What He Wants. See, sometimes when he doesn't want to do something, he just says "No," and toddles off. But sometimes he also uses his pre-No skills to bolster his point. This typically involves one of two things: the locking of knees and the arching of the back, or the wild thrashing of arms and the frantic kicking of legs. So instead of just doing one of those things, he does one of those things AND shouts "No! No! No!"

When does William like to perform this type of stunt? Okay, to be fair, he is a really cheerful delightful kid most of the time. But he's still a toddler. And he's still my child, as we've established. So the big shows tend to happen when I'm trying to do something truly horrible like buckle him into his carseat to take him home from Gymboree or church, or put him in the stroller so we can run into Target and pick a few things up for the house. You know, when I'm trying to restrain him so he'll be safe. He laughs at safe; he spits in the eye of safe. And he bucks around and shouts, "No! No! No!"

Ah, good times. Somewhere, my mom is laughing.

Now, just in case you thought that I have changed since I grew up and would mildly defer to the wishes of my stubborn toddler, let me just lay that little fear to rest. He may be stubborn, but I am the Master of Stubborn. The Grand Emperor of Stubborn. The Sultan of Stubborn. I've had nearly 32 years more practice being stubborn, in fact. He may be stubborn--and freakishly strong, I might add--but I am bigger and older. He puts up a good fight, but I Always Win. It might take me awhile, but he will ride in his carseat.

And yes, I am also smart enough to know that I'm not always going to win, and that there will be times when I realize I have to pick my battles. In fact, already there are times when he gets upset and behaves like the toddler he is. Sometimes I just let him do it. But when I really need to win, I win. When it's good for him and his well-being for me to win, I win. Sometimes I am bruised afterward, but I do what I have to do.

Now. When he gets to be as tall as I am, we may have some trouble.


natalie said...

Amen, sister! We ARE stubborn - they are just learning how to be stubborn. We have much more practice, and we will prevail! (for now...)

Shab said...

Thanks for helping those of us with younger sons prepare for what lies ahead...Arching his back when I try to put him in the car seat after Gymboree has already started! For now, Yago gives in if I hand over keys or an empty water bottle...Maybe he'll be more laid back like his dad. Nope. He'll be stubborn like I am.