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Of Course She Does

Maddie’s decided that the best way
to deal with news she doesn’t like is to simply negate it
– swat it away like a pesky fly, sweep it under the rug like
a messy spill. In other words –

Deny, deny, deny.

I’ve seen evidence of this since
Maddie could barely talk – I remember laughingly referring to
her “Jedi mind tricks” when she was maybe eighteen
months old. She’d wave her hand in front of my face and say,
“Maddie can have a cookie!” or “It’s not
time for bed yet!” We joked about it, found the whole
“mind over Mommy” thing adorable.

Fast-forward a few years, and adorable’s become irascibly
stubborn and – dare I say it about my darling, my love, my
princess – a wee bit annoying.

She’s fallen in a terrible habit of simply disagreeing with
anything she doesn’t like. If I say to Maddie, “Honey,
you may not have any more snack,” she’ll say, “Of
course I can!” Or if I tell her, “Maddie’s
it’s time to clean up,” she’ll simply reply,
“Mommy, of course it is not!” And I find myself falling
into that “Yes, it is!” “No, it
isn’t!” “Yes, it is!” “No, it
isn’t!” trap that I used to get stuck in with my big
brother when I was a kid.

And I have to remind myself that I’m the adult here, not some
equal child bickering for superiority! Fortunately for me, I always
remember in time and have yet to succumb to her relentless
contradiction, so she’s never actually won in these
situations. But oddly enough, that doesn’t seem to deter her
in the slightest, and she shows no sign of changing in the near

I know all kids go through something like this, and that how
exactly they speak up is supposed to indicate what they’ve
heard from us. Does that mean Maddie’s heard me take a firm
stance and seen that it works? I’d like to think so, but
I’m a wee bit afraid she’s simply learning that
sometimes, you can wear a person down by sheer willpower and

Will I make it through unscathed?

Of course I will not.


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