Tiny Tyrant

Eli is at the point in his life where he may change his mind about what he wants on a minute-by-minute basis, but he absolutely positively knows what he wants right now. It’s like continually running into a wall that moves at random. He’s also very specific about what he wants, even as he has trouble articulating his desires all at once. “You — you move — you move your … your glass and I put my octopus water onna coaster.”

We get exhortations: “Stop that, daddy, stop that!” We get stage directions: “No, mom, you — you go and daddy, you stay here and sit on my rug and we play cars.” We get changable instructions: “I want crackers. No, I want hummus. No, I want ham and cheese and hummus. And milk. I want water.”

This is all part of that independence thing that, were we smarter parents, we’d crush under our foot like a spider. But we’re not. We try to make him more independent. We try to direct Eli as much as possible, guiding him towards choices that we can live with. Most of the time. Then there are the times where I revert to being two as well, leading to conversations like the following:

Eli: Dad, we play cars. We play cars with these two cars. You get this car.
Me (pointing to an unused car): I want that truck.
Eli: No, you get this car.
Me: No, I want that truck.
Eli: No, you get this car.
Me: No, I want that truck.
Eli: No, you get this car.
Me: No, I want that truck.
Eli: No, you get this car.
Me: No, I want that truck.
Eli: No, you — you get this car.
Me: No, I want that truck.
Eli: No, you get this car.
Me: No, I want that truck.
Eli: Okay.
(Eli turns to the bucket full of cars.)
Eli: You get this grasshopper car.

True, I did eventually play with the grasshopper car, but I still count this as a moral victory.

5 thoughts on “Tiny Tyrant

  1. No other human can use “no” so often and in so many different ways as someone who is two–or remembers how to be two! I’m glad to see that the trait commonly called “Granade stubbornness” (which I prefer to call “Granade dedication” or “Granade diligence” or “Granade perseverance” but which, by whatever name has the same effect) has not been diluted or diminished by the passage of generations.

  2. I have gotten this, too. [How else do you think I get sucked into sitting on the carpet in his room, huh?] Far worse is that my “no” once got him to the verge of tears, and … crap. I don’t wanna make your kid cry! What kind of friend comes over and makes your kid cry?!

  3. I’m glad to know that you’ve sunk to level of parenthood where you, as an adult, takes the small victories over your child. 😉

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