Sunday, April 13, 2008

Death By A Thousand Cuts

Clay is refining his tactics in disobedience. Previously, if you asked him to do something and he didn't want to (climb into his chair to eat, go to bed, etc), he would shout "No!" and run in the opposite direction. Trying to be progressive parents, we offered him two or more choices -- all that resulted in our desired outcome ("Do you want to walk upstairs or be carried?"). This had a lot of success -- he was picking, we were winning.

Well, he's begun to take it to another level now. Instead of overt rebellion, he's taken a more circuitous route -- a strategy that could be best summarized as "One moment, let me do this first." For instance, let's walk through our "getting ready for bed" routine this evening:

Me: Clay, it's time to go to bed.

Clay: Let me first put this play train away. Oh, wait. Let me back it up j u s t perfect.

Me: C'mon Clay, seriously.

Lisa: Clay, Daddy said it's time to go to bed.

Clay: Oh sure, I'm just being helpful. Here let's walk up the steps. Oh, wait, here's one of Winnie's toy bones. Let me just take care of that. Can't have dangerous toys on the stairs, someone might fall and be injured! I'll just carry this down to the living room and tidy up a little bit.

Me: C'mon Clay, it's after 9:30!

Clay: I'm coming, I'm coming! Ooh, wait, let me just go do this . . .

Me: Criminy!

And on it goes . . . In these scenarios, the only thing I can do is pick the boy up and carry him (kicking and screaming) up the stairs. And let me tell you, nothing settles a 2 year-old down for bed like a good fit.

For what it's worth, I've learned more about patience in the last 25 months than I managed to learn in the prior 30+ years.


Blogger Sarah Rothell said...

Your post makes me laugh and wonder what I'm in for in the coming months!! Your older boy is very smart! And your little boy is very strong!

15 April, 2008 15:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Can't have dangerous toys on the stairs, someone might fall and be injured!"
Or books, books are evil.

30 July, 2008 13:31  

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