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Thursday, July 19, 2012

battle of the wills

A friend and I took all our children for a picnic at the park today.  It was a hot, hot, summer day, much like we typically have in Virginia.  But, we enjoyed the shade, the stream, and the company.  I should have taken pictures but, well, I didn't. 

Anyway, all too soon, it was time to leave.  My friend's children seemingly came to her obediently and all ran up the hill to the parking area, just as they were told.  I say "seemingly" because she later corrected me on my observation.  But, still. 

Katie, on the other hand, wanted one more push on the swings.  I wasn't quite ready to go yet anyway, seeing as she was soaked from plopping in the stream and I had wanted our next stop to be the gym.  Off to the swings we went. 
Higher, higher!


No, I mean, really, really done.

Could it have been the storm clouds looming overhead?  I think not.  She was just ready to go.  Ready, that is, until she was told that she would have to walk up that hill to the parking area.  It isn't a ginormous hill or anything, but to a little kid I know it looks like a mountain.  Heck, it can even look like one to an out of shape grown up.

And, that was it.  She planted her feet on the ground and said, "No."  Pouting her lip and cocking her head, her body language showed me that she just wasn't going.  No amount of ice cream was going to bribe her to walk up that hill.  So, I stood there with her.  For fifteen minutes, I stood there and she cried.  I talked to her, tried to reason.  I told her that it did look like a big hill and I imagined she was tired and just wanted to be carried.  But, I also told her that she was a big girl and she could do it.  I knew she could!  We would even race to the tree.  Ready?  Set?  Go.  

But, no.  She didn't budge.  Not even an inch.  Still, I thought I would win.  I really did.  I thought I was going to stand there like a good mom until she decided to walk up that hill on her own.

It didn't happen that way.  I grew tired and frustrated.  She outlasted me, she did.  I picked her up and marched her up that hill, proclaiming that she would just take a little nap when we got home.  That's it.  That'll teach her, I thought.  

We're home now.  I took her wet clothes off, put clean ones on, and put her in her bed and declared it nap time.  Ha!  We haven't had a set nap time in this house for at least a year, but probably longer.  She didn't stay there.  Oh, no.  For the last thirty minutes, she has been standing at her door (which is closed), asking to come out of her room.  At first, I replied that she must go back to her bed and lay down and take a little snooze in a sugary sweet mom voice.  Now, I'm just ignoring her.

Gosh darn it, I think she's won. 

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