Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do You Ever Get That “Not So Fresh” Feeling?

I had a conversation with my 27-month-old daughter last night. It lasted a healthy 15 minutes. We talked a little bit about finger painting and how come it’s so fun even though it is “squishy” and “cold.” The only part that I didn’t quite grasp immediately was at the end of the conversation where she was either asking for her “Stegosaurus” or her “Thesaurus.” Turns out it was her toy stegosaurus, as she doesn’t have a thesaurus.

She is a good talker. Not just good, but “advanced.” She knows A LOT of words. And she uses inflections. And hand gestures. And big big girl words. And is just the cutest darn thing you ever did see.

So this talking makes her cute and miraculous and according to all the authorities, brilliant. But spoiled. Not like curdled spoiled, but like a good whiff will tell you that you can get by with just one more bowl of Capt’n Crunch spoiled.

It is so hard to not give her what she wants when she SPECIFICALLY asks for it. Usually it’s good. Makes me happy to have moved past the nonspeaking days. Now to figure out what‘s on her mind I just need to ask. I know if she wants “French toast with cinnamon” or “apples and cinnamon with hot water and butter” for breakfast. And when she is feeling under the weather I know if it’s the “back of her throat” or the “top of her tummy” that’s bothering her.

And it’s not really an issue at the toy store or check out lane. It’s the demanding to wear specific clothes. Or watch a specific show. Or pitches a fit if she wants to feed Dory the fish “7 food balls” and Dory is only allowed 5 food balls. She KNOWS I understand her. She KNOWS I have the ability to do her bidding. And she’s smart. She knows that I hate to see her upset, so I have to do everything in my power to not allow myself to get manipulated and outsmarted by 2 year old.

That’s good for the ego.

My whole life I have just tried to give people what they want. For the past 29 years I have tried to say just the right things at just the right times for former teachers, employers and employees. I try and pick out the perfect birthday gifts for my husband. I try and cater to my friends’ tastes so I can make them the perfect meal for Shabbos. I just want to make everybody happy. Not insanely so…it’s just making people happy makes me happy. That’s not a bad thing.

But it does not do the best for the rearing of the child. You simply cannot give your child everything they ask for. You are the parent. Still, it’s not like she is out of control. Or doesn’t say please and thank you. Or doesn’t do a million wonderful kind sweet and generous things everyday. It’s just that she knows what she wants.

I don’t want her to curdle. I just want to make her happy. She makes me happier than anyone. She’s not always going to get what she wants. Not by a mile. I try not to indulge her every whim. But her smile sure is charming. And even at 2am, when we hear her high voice over the monitor asking for “One sip from my milky cup, please” it’s hard to ignore.

But I will overcome. I will turn her into a perfect lady. I will give in, probably one time too many. But I will try to keep her fresh. Because she is delicious with Capt’n Crunch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She is the cutest ever. Good thing you stand up to her, I would crack under pressure everytime with that adorable face.