It’s Not All Mary Poppins

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.

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© 2006, Mary P

September 15, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 11 Comments