Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lessons in Patience

Or: Conversations With a Two-Year-Old

In the van on the way home from the Y the other day, radio playing in the background, but I wasn’t really paying any attention to it, when suddenly:

Boo: “Go St. Louis! Wanna go St. Louis!”

Me: How cute! “We are in St. Louis, Boo.”

Boo: Growing more agitated, “Go St. Louis! Wanna go St. Louis!”

Me: “Honey, we are in St. Louis. That’s where we live.”

Boo: Tears have started and now she is yelling, “St. Louis! Go St. Louis!”

Me: If I bang my head on the window, will she stop? What does she want? What? And why am I even trying to reason with a two-year-old for goodness sake? “We’re already in St. Louis, we can’t go there, we are there!” Pulling up to the parking space in front of our house and wondering if maybe she’s wanting to ‘touch the rainbow arch,’ something else we hear from her a lot.

Boo: “No! Go St. Louis!”

Me: “Oh, look! We’re here. We made it to St. Louis,” and I took her out of her car seat, into the house and quickly distracted her as I scratched my head and wondered why she suddenly had this little melt down in the car, and wondered even more why I was arguing with a two-year-old like she’s going to be able to process reasoning thought or something.

Another day, also in the van on the way home, radio again playing in the background when I noticed this little jingle (sorry I can’t provide the musical clip, just imagine voices singing it joyfully) “The Joy FM, St. Louis!”:

Immediately, Boo said: “Go St. Louis! Wanna go St. Louis!”

Me: Light bulb appears over my head. “Oh, you like the little song?” Sigh. I had no idea she was paying such close attention to the radio. Now I cringe whenever that little jingle plays, but I have learned not to argue with her about it.

Another entirely different scenario on any given day around our house:

Me: “Boo, need to go potty?”

Boo: “No, I dry.”

Me: “Yes, and we want you to stay dry, so let’s go potty.”

Boo: “No, I play.”

Me: “After potty, let’s go.”

And this happens over and over. Or there is this variation:

Me: “Boo, let’s go potty.”

Boo, in an obviously wet pull-up: “No, I dry.”

Me: “Nope. Not dry, let’s go.”

Boo: “No, I play.”

Me: “Here we go, potty’s this way.”

She’s nothing, if not consistent. And, by the way, spending time with a two-year-old ought to be enough proof for anyone that we are born sinners. I don’t have to teach her to say, “No,” or to have a temper tantrum, or to run away from me when I call her – and boy do I have stories about that. But training her to obey and to come to me when called and not run screaming through the grocery store displaying her independent stubborn streak is a constant exercise in patient discipline. Well, being honest here, sometimes I’m not so patient. But it is constant. And it has to be, because I love her and want the best for her, and the best for her is not allowing her to run screaming through the grocery store defying authority. And while training her, I’m learning that the best for me is to practice patience and consistency, too.

1 comment:

Lisa writes... said...

Oh, I remember the frustration of communication when the boys were that little!