Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh, Snap!

I keep being surprised by parenting, arriving at stages and challenges that I though I didn't have to worry about quite yet.

This afternoon D and I had been playing outside, and then he came in and started asking for a snack. We went to his high chair, and that's when I realized that the crayons he'd been using earlier were still spread out all over the floor.  So I said, "Hey D, come help Mommy pick up the crayons." He said no. Usually he's pretty good about pitching in to help me pick something up.  I don't normally do this, but I then said, "Please come help mommy, and then you can have a snack.  No snack till after the crayons are picked up."  He again said no, and then sat in his chair looking at me for a minute.  I guess he was trying to figure out if I was serious or not.  And then I guess he decided I was, so he got back down off the chair and said, "Go play outside again."

As in, "Fine. If I can't have my snack, then I'm just gonna stay hungry and instead go keep playing. I'm certainly not helping pick up the crayons."

I looked at him and actually said, "Are you kidding me?"  It was such a clear act of defiance.  And then I was stuck... what do I do? I laid down an ultimatum, so I couldn't budge.  But I also clearly couldn't force him to do anything.

I ended up letting him play by himself in the patio, deciding to kind of ignore him for now, and about 10 minutes later he asked to go on a walk in his push car. I told him we could go after we picked up the crayons, and that time he came right away and helped me pick them all up.  So I suppose I "won" in the end, but I got totally blindsided by that power struggle.


So tomorrow morning we're leaving for a 4-day trip to Yosemite.  I'm super excited, as I think this will be really fun-- hopefully D's first time to play in snow, and also just a fun family vacation out in nature (we're not camping, not brave enough to try that yet).  However, this trip seriously snuck up on me and I have not planned for it at all, and so while I managed to get some packing/organizing done today, Zach and I have much work to do tonight in order to get ready.  We're hoping to leave by about 9am tomorrow. I'll be impressed if we manage to stick anywhere close to that...


  1. Yeeeeah, Gianna pulled out a "no" on me yesterday when I asked her to do something. Not cool. She ended up caving and picked up her sippy but I don't expect it to always be that way so I'm pondering strategies in advance...

    Have fun on your trip!!

  2. teehee, that's too funny! D is one smart cookie.
    have a great trip!

  3. Since you asked him to pick up the crayons before doing the other fun thing he wanted to do, he probably figured out (or will figure out) that when you ask him to do something, he's going to have to do it eventually. If he had refused the second time, and gone back outside to play instead of going on the walk, then you might have been in for a fun time...

    (Then again, maybe he just wasn't that hungry...)

  4. You should be proud of yourself for not picking up the crayons yourself after he changed his mind and went outside. I think that was the pivotal point in his little lesson. Pat yourself on the back, you won round #1. :) Lots of rounds to go!

  5. ooooh, we have the same sorts of things happen, but now A *really* digs in her heals. My problem is tying it to food - she's so underweight and refuses to eat, but not eating means a meltdown is sure to come, so I try desperately not to associate any task with eating. It's so hard to deal with the "no, I don't want to. You do it." and she doesn't budge. Alas, she got her stubbornness from both her parents, so we don't budge either....I wish you better luck!

  6. I get that a lot, but now I motivate her with money and friends. She has to clean her room and help me clean the house before friends can come over. Works like a charm. She knows after many years of impressing it upon her and consequences, that she's expected to pick up her things out of the main areas. She even impressed me with how well she cleaned up her room. You're on the right track, and hopefully he isn't as stubborn as R. is.



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