Luca. Oh Luca. He is so stubborn. So beyond tolerable stubbornness and into the realm of, I have no idea how to counter your stubbornness, little man. Not a clue.
But 90% of the time he is the sweetest, kindest little boy I have ever met. And I’m not saying that because he’s my kid. He just is.
Anyhow, there are times when I get so frustrated by him and I sit and wish that he would grow up a little more so that I can actually reason with him, as I do with Claire, but then I stop myself.
Because he will be my only little boy and he will only be this little defiant two year old for a short time. Because soon, he won’t need me quite like he needs me now. And because in a little while, he’ll think me embarrassing asking for a hug.
One thing I’ve noticed all my life watching other people is that there are kids that are genuinely good, and have bad days or kids that are typically hellions. And it’s typically the ones that are hellions that get excused for by other adults.
Hear me now. I’m not excusing Luca. Yes. He flips out when I tell him it’s nap time. Yes. He pitches a fit if he doesn’t get his way. And yes, he refuses to eat dinner 75% of the time.
But – when he flips out over nap time, I am stern and he still naps. When he doesn’t get his way, I don’t give in just to get him to stop. (As we frequently say in our house, “We don’t give in to terrorists.”) And when he refuses to eat dinner, there’s no way in hell he gets a treat (the only time during the day when we offer it,) and if he decides he’s hungry later on, he either gets dinner reheated or fruit or carrot sticks.
I don’t keep many secrets, and I’m very open about a lot of things. And I’ll be honest when I talk about my kids. The good, the bad, the in between. I’m not here to toot my own horn and say I’m the best mother there has ever been – because I’m not. I know how I could improve. But I also do know that I’m a damn good mother and my kids are living proof. They are kind, considerate and say please and thank you. They aren’t rude, they don’t back talk and they have respect for Matt and I. Bottom line.
Someone said to me, “Oh just you wait, you think he’s bad now?” And I wanted to scream. Who is anyone to say that because my kid is being a stubborn two year old that he’ll be some sexually active 12 year old smoking pot? I see that as highly unlikely. And really rude. And he’s not bad! HE’S 2!
When I decided that I wanted to be a mother I made myself a set of rules:
1. Don’t coddle.
2. You see that mom being a helocopter parent? Yah, don’t do that. It’s annoying.
3. Being respectful works both ways.
4. Remember the poem by Shel Silverstein.
5. Kids just want to be heard. Not just listened to.
6. Allow free thinking and small amounts of freedom.
7. Build trust by being honest. No one likes a liar.
8. Don’t be their friend.
9. Know that each kid is different and needs to be treated as such.
10. Just be there for them.
11. Remember what it was like to be a kid.
12. Love them for who they are.
And I try like hell, every day, to stick to those rules. Those are the only rules I follow.
So yes. I have a defiant 2 year old. And who out there, who has children, didn’t have a defiant 2 year old? I take it one day at a time, I stay firm and I try to talk it out. That’s all I can do.
Because that 10% of the time that he’s being a little turd I can deal with if it means I get to have my sweet boy the other 90%.