Friday, September 15, 2006

Raising the bar on Nigel, Part Two

So you all now know how I decided to take it to the wall with Nigel. How he was NOT getting down from the high chair before he said 'please'. How, at time of writing, we'd been head-to-head for 23 minutes and counting. You know all that. You marvelled at my persistence. Persistence which has been honed through years of such interactions, persistence which has been forged on the anvil of toddler-iron, sealed with the heat of toddler passion. Persistence which is essential to the job, to my sanity. You couldn't survive in this career if you can't out-stubborn a toddler. The stand-off (sit-off?) continued. My every attempt to get a "please" out of the boy was met with distraction - "wass dassss?" "where kitty?" - or silence. Distraction was accompanied by wide-eyed smiles. ("See how sweet? Too sweet to resist!") Silence with glares of reproach. ("Damn you, woman!") I'd wander off to reduce the tension and let him get bored. I'd come back, perky and full of smiles. "Ready to get down now?" A little bounce of enthusiasm. ("She's come to her senses!) "Yeh!" "Okay, then. I'll get you down as soon as you say "Please"!!" "Wass dassss?" And in the end? At the end of this half-hour-plus standoff? My reward for my persistence, my good humour, my refusal to give on this point? He fell asleep. Of course he did. So did I win? Well, I didn't lose. He slept for three hours. All that mental resistance takes a toll on a tot. And today? Today we will back off the p-word. Oh, we'll get there, of course. I'm just planning my strategy and picking my day. Because I'm stubborn that way.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ © 2006, Mary P

11 Comments:

Anonymous dreadmouse said...

Did you take him out of the chair when he fell asleep? Because if you did...

9/15/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger lara said...

smart kid - i *still* use sleep to escape conversations in which i want no part. bugs the tar out of my fiance, though. i suppose i'm probably too old for that now, eh? ;)

9/15/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Heh heh, regroup for a new attack.

In the long run, though? My friend's husband alssep nearly the entire time they go visit his parents. Avoidance learned young? Hmmm...

9/15/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger KTP said...

Wait...did he sleep that whole 3 hours in the chair? THAT'S a good sleeper.

FYI - I've been trying to use this tactic with my 17-month-old, to get him to say more words. Won't pick him up unless he says "up" etc. It's working...slowly.

Mary - I so appreciate your blog and your willingness to share your experiences. I'm the one who emailed you about my daycare problems the other day. It helped me to work it out. Thanks again.

9/15/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Crack me up! Thanks for the laugh. Sometimes it does feel likes it's us against them. (Always for their benefit, or course.)

9/15/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Dreadmouse: Yes, I took him out of the chair - but I still don't lose because he wasn't conscious. He has to be consciously defying me, otherwise it doesn't count as caving. (My house, my rules, heh.) :-)

(I've seen you someplace before. Was it here? If not, welcome to Mary's place!)

Kari: Well, it was his naptime. It may not have been deliberate. Conflict makes me tired - I find myself totally unable to think clearly, so fogged with fatigue is my mind. Where's the clarity of the adrenaline rush when you need it, I ask you?

Kittenpie: Avoidance! Could it be? In one so young?

ktp: No, I put him in bed. Poor little mite was just worn right out with all that stone-walling.

So that was you? I hope you weren't too disappointed with my answer. :-) I flattered you considered my opinion worth having for your concern. Thank you.

MamacitaTina: Sometimes it certainly does. In a sense, sometimes it is: they want things that simply aren't good for them, so we have to thwart them. Some days, it's tough being two! (Or in Nigel's case, 21 months.)

9/15/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Wow, he's tough. I think you're smart to skip a day - you can sneak up on him with it that way! :-)

9/15/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Nanny Girl said...

I can't believe how stubborn he is and you too. The kids I watch are stubborn but they are older now (3 and 4) and their most common phrase now is "but I need you" or "I really like it" just add a whine sound to it and you'll know what I mean. Good luck with the please situation. It'll come.

9/15/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Haha! He did fall asleep, stubborn baby. Well, I'm sure you'll have him saying his "peeses" in no time!

Right now, Q is saying "hsie hsie" (thank you) when he gives *me* something. So it's a little backwards, but that ok. Extra polite words never hurt anyone.

9/16/2006 01:06:00 AM  
Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

Call it a draw. You'll get him next time.

9/16/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger AverageMom said...

What a smart little monkey. We've had the "please" fight, too. Of course. Everyone does, it they have a kid. Poor Girl Terror screamed for an hour in the car because I wouldn't hand her the water without hearing please. Argh. The guilt was incredible.

9/17/2006 02:22:00 AM  

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