I’ve seen a couple of social media posts recently discussing the various ways that the small people are fighting back.
Specifically the way they stage a protest or the way they enjoy their newfound powers of development.
From sitting down on the pavement and deciding not to move until your primary caregiver gives in to your demands to climbing out of your cot 16 times a night to pop round to the parentals for a visit because you can.
These are some of the usual struggles of parenting shared by many it would seem.
In a particularly annoying show of one upmanship that I always despise, I have to say, my child seemingly takes it to another level. I’m sure I’m not alone and that there are far worse antics that I’ve not even considered yet but he doesn’t sit down on the pavement and refuse to move, he takes his clothes off and moves very slowly but sufficiently in time with me that it’s perfectly obviously that his nakedness is my responsibility and that I have done something that he really does not appreciate.
One mother of a stationary toddler suggested her approach to curing the stubborn streak is to do likewise. She sat down on the pavement next to her child and the act so surprised her toddler that she immediately stood up and was happy to carry on. I don’t feel that this is a viable option in my circumstance. I’ve been left with my pants around my ankles in a public place before thanks to my young un and I haven’t got a taste for it.
So back to pants down protesting, I feel my options are rather limited. Do I go back to him to put his pants back on thus admitting defeat and engaging in some form of mortal combat to have my will trump his in a public display of violence or do I leave him to trail half naked in the bleakest winter just behind me whilst everyone everywhere thinks that I am quite possibly the worst mother ever in the history of mothers.
“I don’t like what you’re doing and I know you won’t like what I’m doing so if I have to be unhappy it seems only fair that you are too.” His logic is flawless. Actions have consequences. If you try and discipline me, I will discipline you.
In a lot of a ways I admire his spirit and his ability to think of ways to fight the system. I am also heartened by his sense of self and his steely will. I am sure no one will be taking advantage of him anytime soon. And therein lies my parenting dilemma.
I want my child to know I’m in charge so that when I say don’t run across the street, he listens but I don’t want to quash his spirit, his wonderful sense of self and his amazing ability to figure out how to fight back. How many battles can he lose and still remain invested in fighting? How many battles can I lose and still be considered in charge? Finding the balance I feel is the real skill of parenting!