Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Contrarian Age

Did I ever think I'd long for the days of the simple "no!"?

I love how verbal Madison is.  I really do.  She is a chatty, chatty, intelligent child with an amazing memory, imagination and vocabulary.  She takes things she learns and uses them with correct context.  Today she was playing with her golf clubs with Adam on his little putting mat.  She looked at him seriously and said "Daddy. Just concentrate, take it slow, and focus on the ball".  Now, I happen to know this is probably from Sofia the First where Sofia is learning how to cast spells, but it's still a little impressive that she took it, remembered it, and adapted it.  And we've only seen that particular episode twice.

But having a child who is extremely verbal has its disadvantages.  Like when said child feels the need to contradict everything you ask of them.

There's the basic "I'm not".

I'm not picking up this game.

I'm not sitting on the potty.

I'm not putting on my jacket.

I'm not eating lunch.

I'm not getting in the car.

I'm not going to the store.

Etc, etc.  Basically, if I say "Ok, Madison, we're going to _____" or "It's time to _________" or anything like that, this is the answer I will inevitably get.  She could have asked about it 30 seconds before, but now, it's totally unacceptable.

Here I was, thinking I was being all smart and making sure I wasn't going to ask "Ok, do you want to _______" and give her the opportunity to say no.  I make a firm statement....and she found a way to say no anyway.  When I give her a choice, she just tells me she's not doing either.

Mind you, sometimes these are things she loves doing.  Going to see a friend.  Getting popcorn.  Playing with the iPad.  Yet she still feels the need to say no.  Because I told her to.

This isn't all we've got in this contrarian age.  We also get the "Mommy, stop".

Mommy, stop pouring my juice.

Mommy, stop getting my clothes.

Mommy, stop drinking your coffee.

Mommy, stop talking to Daddy.

Mommy, stop going on the potty.

Mommy, stop getting me out of my crib.

Seriously.  She's awake, totally happy, and then I tried to take her out of the crib.  Which was apparently the absolute wrong thing to do.

It pretty much applies to anything.

Madison: What are you doing?

Me: I'm ___________ (insert mundane task, or better yet, something I'm doing FOR her here).

Madison: Stop ___________.

She actually went into a full meltdown in the car the other day.  I was driving (obviously).  We were chatting about her dance class.  Reagan was sleeping.  She asked if I wanted to do the "Star Dance" with her, and I said she could teach me as soon as we got home.

Mommy, what are you doing?

I'm driving the car.

Mommy, STOP driving the car.

I'll stop when we get home.


On the highway.  Seriously.  Obviously, there's no reasoning with her.  I just turned up the music and ignored her for a bit, and she calmed down.

Because that's the thing.  She has a deep need to contradict absolutely everything, but it doesn't really impact what's actually going to happen.  Meltdowns are pretty rare.  However, she likes when I start telling her she has "until 5" to do what I've asked.  She smiles at me until I get to 4, then tells me she'll do whatever she just told "I'm not" to.

As for the stop, I used to tell her I'd stop when I'm done.  Now I just finish up talking to Adam or drinking my coffee or driving the car and then give her my attention.

It's a phase, it'll pass, and honestly, it could be so much worse.  I can deal with this.

Because I think I know where she gets it...and I've had practice!

As usual, feel free to share!  I have a new goal for Facebook.  I'm keeping the number and the end date secret for now, because I may be a little ambitious, but if you haven't already, please head over to my page and give me a like! 

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