So, I love my daughter. But I have some bad moments. Dramatic moments. The other day I reinjured my foot because I stamped it in a fit of anger during a silly argument with her. Aforementioned argument ended with both of us ‘taking a few minutes’ to calm ourselves down so we could talk it out. I am sharing that (slightly embarrassing) story lest you think that our parent/child relationship is better than it is.
But mostly I am really glad we are so similar. It makes many parts of our relationship flow naturally and I hope that having a grown-up who is like her will give E. some much-needed feedback so she can learn how to be sensitive to other people’s needs during her formative years.
The other day we had friends over for dinner. We were setting the table and getting ready to sit down when one of the friends mentioned that she might want to sit on the toilet. “Nope.” she said dismissively and leaving little room in her 3 year old world for discussion.
Her dad pushed back a bit and said, “Honey, I really think you should sit on the toilet before we have dinner. It’s been a couple of hours and you might have an accident.”
“Dad, I’m not going to do that.” He sighed and tried to figure out what to do next, with this little girl who so reminds him of me when we first met…
They both talked with her for a couple more minutes, trying to convince her to sit on the toilet. Eventually I overheard their kind, reasonable requests and her flat-out refusal.
Setting down the plates I was holding, I said, “Kiddo, go sit on the toilet please. We don’t want you to have an accident, and you need to respect your daddy’s words.”
She tossed her head and raised her eyebrows. “I WON’T.” She planted her flag and dug her heels in firmly.
“Excuse me? What in all of our time together has made you think that you can talk to me like that? GO sit on the toilet.” I dug my heels in too. They’re bigger than hers, and have years more practice being dug into places…sometimes I am the mommy and it is my job to be more stubborn.
She spread her fingers wide and said, “Mom, I’m NOT going to pee on the floor. I don’t want to sit on the toilet!”
“And I don’t want to clean pee off the floor and your chair just because you’re trying to prove a point!”
Tiny sigh, but somehow huge…”Okay, Mama. I’ll go.”
Like I said, my girl is like me, and mostly I really enjoy that dynamic. If we do end up with a boy who is laid back like his dad, we will have to try very hard not to let him get squished in between us. That will be a huge challenge, but we are smart girls and I know God will use that and help us figure out how to be gracious to each other as we go. We just have to remember to leave room for expansion and growth in our communication style.