Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just in time for the political season: my own little Yes-(Wo)man and Tell-You-What-You-Want-to-Hear Deal Maker

Yes, it is true. My girl N. has just learned how to nod emphatically in response to questions, mostly about food.
"Do you want some blueberries?" Up and down goes the head, almost enough to knock her right off balance if she's standing inside the open refrigerator door.
"Do you want some strawberries?" In her highchair, she bobs and nods and bangs her head on the back of the chair.
"Do you want some yogurt?" Yes, and yes again, she says.
After she throws half of her body out the side of the chair, hooks her foot into the side rung and tries to stand up and out: "Are you all done?" Yes, yes, yes!
There are not so many "no" responses as of yet, but believe me, I'm not pushing that issue yet, as I know it will soon enough be her favorite word. Do you want to take a nap? No! Do you want to help me clean up? No! Can I have a hug? No!
I would have tried to get a photo of the cute head bobbing to post, but ever since Monday's disastrous fall from the front porch step and consequent massive brush burn forehead boo-boo, we're avoiding photo-ops, and hoping that she either sprouts some miracle hair quick or has some major healing in time for birthday pictures next week. Maybe we can pass it off as a smear of chocolate icing so I don't feel so bad.
I'm working hard at teaching her to go DOWN stairs now, since she is the Queen of Climbing: stairs, picnic tables, chairs, but has no idea how to get back down.
Also avoiding photos is He Of The New Big Boy Haircut. J. took the clippers to him last week, with my blessing, so that I could perhaps skip a screaming/kicking/'I'm going to bite the haircutter like a dinosaur' session to tame O's hair. It worked out pretty well in the back and on the sides, but then the front got much too short, I freaked out and made him stop. Then we had to endure the whole hair salon visit anyway just to get it all evened out.
It's cute, I have to say, though shorter than I like. He doesn't have his little curl in the middle of his forehead, and most of the blondest blond is gone, so I'm mourning the loss of that, but I keep telling myself "it's just hair, it will grow back."
The haircut is just one of many of the things we've had to start planning strategy sessions for around here. Naptime, dinnertime, staying in his own bed all night and starting preschool are the big other ones. O. is willing to commence wheeling and dealing on any and all of them, even though we've tried not to get into it, just lay down the law and that's it.
Dinnertime has been no fun for anyone for the last month what with the "big boys don't take naps" exhaustion setting in right around then, creating crabbiness, talking back, food refusal, and plenty of time on the naughty step.
Sometimes, though, at naptime I'm just annoyed and go ahead and give him "one more bedtime toy on top of me" and finally say "fine, just have quiet time for five more minutes" so I don't have to go up and down the stairs to haul him back into bed another time. Other times, I'm genuinely concerned that he's not eating enough so I plead for "one more dinosaur bite of melon or cheese and we'll make popcorn later."
However, he knows all the right things to say to manipulate his dear mother's heart. This morning, he asked for the daily update on what day of the week it was, what we were doing today, and what was on the schedule for the other days of the week.
When I told him he was going to go meet his teacher tomorrow to get ready for his first day of school next week, his first response was "I am big now? I can go to school?" But it was soon followed by: "But Mommy, I don't want to go to school. I will miss you. I will miss you so much."
And if he thinks that one is going to keep him home, well...
I'll give you the update on how it all goes. I'm cautiously optimistic after recent successes in separation at "golf camp" and a gymnastics birthday party, but I know better than to count on a three and a half year old to have any kind of consistency in behavior.


CaraBee said...

My daughter is also in the climbing phase. She LOVES stairs. We had our first tumble back down (luckily only a couple of steps) this morning. I felt like such a bad mommy.

mep said...

We could really use a yes-woman around here . . . well, besides me. I too find myself negotiating and/or giving in to make the screaming stop far more often than I would like.

Please keep us posted on O's first week of school. We start next week as well!

Plus, how about some recent pics of the Nodding N?