Stick to Your Guns

Remember about a week ago when I said Mommy-ing was hard? Well, apparently as the kids get older, hard just changes focus a little. We haven’t gone through any major changes yet, I mean, Bubba is only two. There’s plenty of time. Yet I have noticed a slight change, or should I say, a character trait. Bubba. Is. Stubborn. Go figure, right? I mean, I know I can be stubborn, and we know husbands can be stubborn, so- did this cherub have a shot? Not a popsicle’s chance in summer! Poor guy. Maybe he’ll use his powers for good some day.

A few weeks ago, we visited Nona & Papa’s house. It was dinner time and as usual, because he’s 2, the offered fare wasn’t up to the Prince’s par. Alas, that was what was being served so it was, eat, or sit and wait.
*Fun Fact: did you know that over a two-week span a toddler will eat ONE balanced meal in total. Rest easy, a Dr. said so.*
At least I thought those were the options. I was, of course, incorrect. There was a third, very loud option. That option was screaming. How did that become an option? You ask. Well, I’ll tell you.

At some point during the meal it was mentioned that in order for Bubba to be released from the prison that was his chair, he must eat a gigantically-humongous 1x1cm bite of chicken. Now you’ve done it. You see, once you make a statement like that, you can’t just give it up- you have to stick to your guns and see it through. Boy, were we in for a treat. It first started with the crying and appealing to each family member at the table that was not Mommy or Daddy. No dice. Strike 1. It then progressed to whimpering and asking politely to get down. You’ve never heard the words “I be excused?” Asked so sweetly. Usually, that would work, but you’ve got to take that bite of chicken. Strike 2. The third and final option was to kick your feet, scream and yell that you were definitely-positively-NOT going to eat that chicken. Strike 3. Oh, time-out, we meet again, yet this time in a different capacity. When at the table it isn’t really conducive to walk all the way over to the door so we simply turn his chair away from the table. You don’t want to act like a polite member of the family? You may rejoin us when you’ve decided to quit screaming like a banshee. Ahh but the force was strong with this one tonight. He proceeded to make a royal ruckus for way longer than was polite. We, as his parents, could have at any time decided to let him pass and get down without taking a bite. Yet this would have undermined our previous decision, thus letting him know that screaming-crying-kicking-feet and being a downright menace at the table would get you what you want. Umm no, thank you. I don’t plan to experience this again. Though sometimes, the scenery has to change to achieve the desired result.
We tried moving the chair. Nope.
We tried moving directly outside the door onto the deck. Away from the family members with whom he had an audience. Nope
We then tried solitary (within earshot) time out alone. Nope. This one was heartbreaking as he sat and cried “Mommy.” He knows just how to get ya.
Time to bring out the big guns. Here comes Mommy. Bubba and I went on a little walk around the backyard. As in, I walked, he was carried. Can’t get down until you eat a bit of chicken. I’m kicking myself.  We discussed expectations and how to be able to move on with the evening.
I’m sorry, did you just say you tried to reason with a two-year-old?
Why yes, I did. Desperate times, desperate measures.
Funny thing came of this negotiation. Mind you, I’m now holding a snotty-drippy toddler and a fork with one single bite of chicken on it, walking around the backyard. As we made it toward the porch-type-swing a small bee decided to join us and Bubba could hear the buzzing.
“Mommy! It a bee! Get it!”
I have to put you down so I can get the bee. Sit here really quick and hold the fork. You know, the same fork you’ve been refusing to touch for the last 45 minutes.
“Okay- get the bee Mommy!”
Okay, I will. The bee is right here. Swats bee away and has a moment of brilliance. Quick! Put the fork in your mouth so he doesn’t get it.
Bubba, inserts fork, chomps on chicken, chews, and swallows.

*blink* *blink blink* seriously?

I then scooped him up and took him inside, because a deal is a deal. You finished the chicken you can go play. We rejoined the family and all of the adults silently agreed not to mention it again.
I can’t say crisis averted, but we did all learn a valuable lesson:
Don’t make statements you don’t intend to keep.
Luckily, we haven’t had a meltdown of that magnitude since. I can only hope we continue on a positive trend. At least now we know the next time the battle rages, all we need to do is bring the heavy artillery… bees.

‘Bee’ Great,
M

 

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