Little parrots … that’s what kids are … ready to mimic anything back to you in the least opportune moment. I guess I often say “do ____, right now”, usually after I’ve asked nicely twice (with “please”), cajoled once, and then ordered once. “Right now” signifies I’ve reached the end of my patience and a count to 3 or “time out” is imminent, depending on the situation.
I want to respect his feelings and wants, but “no potty right now” or “no sleep right now” or “no toys away right now” doesn’t always really mean he doesn’t want it, right? I think he’s just testing out his newly-understood independence and control over the situation. “Pick your battles” comes to mind in these moments, and I have to selectively choose the ones I push and the ones I let go. It definitely keeps me on my toes.
Independence is certainly the theme these days as he has become aware of his separateness from us. I want to encourage it, but it’s tough to let go at the same time after two years of dependency. A great example was walking down the stairs today. “No mummy’s hand right now” is how it started … and he proceeded to walk down 4 flights of stairs just holding onto the railing, as if he’s done it all along. The sense of loss and pride are equal in that moment, and it’s hard not to smile and realize he really is becoming the “little man” that he refers to all the time. The happy medium is giving him the room to grow and explore, but staying close by for when he decides he does need Mummy still or when he doesn’t realize he’s entering a dangerous situation.
Ah, speaking of dangerous situations … he does realize that cars drive on the roads and that we should check for them before crossing the street. His ritual now is to arrive at the street and say “no car, no car”, completely missing out on the fact that we need to look first … but at least he’s on the first step to doing it right. He cracks me up!