I Have Lost the Battle of Wills

At some point in my hazy future I imagine going running with my daughter, creaking knees and tendony legs revealing to me the simple truth that I’ve been eclipsed by my progeny.  Never did I imagine that at the tender of age of 2 ½ she would already be able to battle me and win.

Until it came to the matter of the toothbrushing, July 26, 2010.  I demanded she brush her teeth, she refused.  I asked nicely.  I reasoned.  I bribed.  I pinned her down like a wild animal getting tagged.  Eventually I told her she’d get no pacifier, no book-reading, no hugs goodnight.  She chose her path and in that moment the black shadow of age passed across my face.  My daughter can win if she goes up against me.  She can now choose her own fate and she’s no more controllable than the wind that whips our flag in billows and snaps.  If I were writing this twelve, thirteen years in the future, I would understand my fate had been a long time coming.  Teenagers are supposed to rebel, to slam the door in your face while screaming, “I HATE YOU!”  That’s what they do.  But my sweet little daughter?  Is the age of innocence already gone?

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3 comments
  1. You know what’s even more frightening than you can realizing she can defy you? SHE realizing she can defy you.

    You could always find a one-armed man who can pretend his arm got ripped off. “And that’s why you should always brush your teeth!”

  2. Heidi said:

    When we were at ComicCon, Sophie refused to put her shoes on. Then we passed a woman who was painted green from head to toe and who looked barefoot. We told Sophie that it would happen to her if she didn’t put her shoes on. It worked for a while. But I think she actually debated it in her head–I think she considered going green.

  3. Babs said:

    The withhold-what-they-value B.F. Skinner stimulus/response approach often works better than anything else. Hey–it worked with you guys and look how you turned out. Ok, well, maybe that wasn’t fair. The hardest part is to not get manipulated into caving in. Good luck with THAT part!

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