I have to admit…sometimes when I disagree with my husband, I’d rather lay flat on the ground like my one year old does to get my way, than navigate through the conversation until it either dies off or ends in accord. Yes, I need that many pairs of shoes. I just DO. (lol) Absurd in an adult situation, of course…but toddlers find all kinds of really ridiculous ways to get their way…and I’m telling you…more times than I’d like to admit, they work!
The closer my younger daughter get’s to age two, the more her budding little personality emerges. Cute in most ways, challenging in some other ways. Toddlers, particularly before they know how to wordsmith their requests, have some unique ways getting what they want. Half a sentence and a screaming foot-stomp effectively draw attention. That, they pick up on, very quickly. My little one year old had her own bag of tricks to get what she wants. The shoulder shrug, the stare down, the flailing arms…the sock on her plate to signal she’s done with lunch…and now…the ‘lay down.’
It’s become a part of my daily routine to walk down to the end of the street each morning after dropping my older daughter off at school. Gives me time to bond with the little one. One particular morning, she choose to push her baby stroller down the road as we walked. Fine. Harmless. And down the street we strolled. It’s the cutest thing ever watching her push her little twin baby dolls in their little miniature stroller down the street. Buttered me up real good for the walk back…
She parked the stroller at the top of the stairs while we went down to the beach to pick up stones, sticks, bird feathers, and whatever other adventurous treasure we found on the beach that day. When both of our hands started turning red from the winter’s cold breeze off the lake, we both headed for the stairs to begin the short walk home. Short, by my standards, but for her it’s probably a half a day’s stroll.
Cold hands are…well..cold. I never appreciate my gloves enough until I am without them…fingers glowing a freezing cold, cracked skinned, red. My little daughter was missing her gloves at this point in our journey…hopefully wishing she didn’t discard them as quickly as I put them on her little mitts. She pushed her little twin baby dolls back onto the pavement, and then we both realized the wind had been at our backs on the walk down.
Lauren, with all her one and a half year old might, gave those dolls a push and then stomped her feet…flailed her arms. “Just push your babies, Lo…we’re almost there…” I encouraged, and in an effort to speed up the process while preventing a meltdown, added…”let’s race…ready…set…”
Instead of chiming in with ‘GO!’ she shot me the ‘not buying it, mom‘ look and sat right down on her but. Granted it wasn’t a long walk back home, but carrying a wiggly toddler and pushing the ‘twins’ all the way back down the street on a leg not totally healed from injury was not on the top of my ‘to do’ list. So I tried again, picking her up and setting her back down in front of her toy stroller…
“Ok, Lo…ready…set…go!” I just added the ‘go’, trying to be as positive as possible so that she would go along with me.
‘No.’ And, with that, she sat back down on the ground. When she saw me coming…she laid all the way down. Flat on her back, on the cold pavement, stiff as a board. Unwilling to budge.
Guess who push the ‘twins’ home?
Juggling what once was a joyously warm mug of coffee, the cold hand of my daughter, and a toy stroller full of babies…we walked back home. I mean, what was I going to do? Let her lie there in the street? Sometimes, the time limit on practical negotiation runs out before I can declare victory. But, to Lauren’s dismay, the same tactic does not work as well inside the nice toasty warm house when she wants another ‘coooooookkkkkiiiiieeeee.’ I’ll take that round.