My mom watches Little Girl on Tuesdays. I moderated a webinar today, so they both left the house for the afternoon. When I finished the event, I put my home phone back on the hook. There was a message waiting from my mom. “Hello, Karen? I took her shopping, and we came back to my house to put the groceries away and now she won’t let me take her home.” I closed my eyes and sighed.
I could picture it. Little Girl can be willful. My mother probably tried to put her into the car seat and encountered Boneless Crazy Baby. Flailing, screaming, and crying her way out of the seat. As Little Girl’s mom I have encountered this, too, but I am strong enough and cunning enough to get her to either a) quiet down and voluntarily go into the seat or b) strap her in even as she flails. I prefer option a, of course, but I’ve done b in necessity. It isn’t pretty, but it works.
But as always I digress. I picked up the phone to call my mom. At the same time I saw her car drive up. I walked outside and opened the car door. There she was. My tiny blond angel. Smiling. Waving. I didn’t miss a beat. “Did you give Grandma a hard time? Did you tell her ‘no’ when she told you that it was time to come home?” Little Girl, bless her little heart, revels in her mischievousness. “Yes, Mommy. I stay there!” And then she laughed. (At least she’s honest.) I looked at my mom with questioning eyes. “I didn’t know what to do so I took her back inside, gave her a drink, and finally got her to come home,” she explained. Wordlessly, I took her inside for her nap. Once inside I had to strong-arm her into a diaper. (She’s in big girl pants all day, but I am still putting the diapers on her when she sleeps. She does NOT agree with this decision.) Within seconds she was asleep. Being obstinate is tiring, I guess.
I walked downstairs and sat with my poor mom. I was going to chastise her, but I decided against it. She had been through enough. Of course, she is a push-over as many grandmas are. Still, I told her the next time she should put her on a time out. She waved me away, of course. I should have known. That’s not her style. She follows the beat of her own drummer. Like grandmother, like mother, like daughter. It must run in the family, I guess. So we can’t really complain, can we?
How do you deal with your child’s willfulness? What’s the best technique to get a kid to listen? I’m open to any and all suggestions!