Tuesday, June 14, 2011


While many of my parental expectations did not turn out exactly the way I thought they would (I thought she would have dark hair.  I thought I would limit the toys to her bedroom and perhaps one other room, not every single room in the whole damn house.  I thought I would like it when she napped for three hours, not want her to wake up because I miss her), I did expect that I would have a well-behaved child, and so I do.

If Willow is in her room playing happily, but we need to head over to the kitchen so I can start making dinner, all I have to do is ask her if she wants to come help me cook, and she sets aside her toy, stands up, and walks over to the other side of the house.  This morning, I pulled her cheerios away from her to add milk, and she started to fuss, so I handed her my spoon and her spoon and asked her to put them on the table.  She did so willingly--table-setting and chores are clearly not far behind.  I can list example after example of this--Willow is sweet, eager to help, and listens very, very well.

Most of the time.

The other day in the bath, Willow stood up.  This is not unusual.  I often have to ask her to "Sit down, please," and she does so immediately, even if she does stand up again two minutes later.  But that day, I said "Sit down, please," and Willow looked at me, grinned, and said "Sit!"

She did not sit down when she said it.

It's that dangerous moment of parenting, where you want to giggle because it's funny and cute, and you want to applaud because yay! new word!, but really the right thing to do is force your face into a semi-glower and say "I'm so glad you can say sit, now will you please do it?"

Sitting in the tub is no longer a given.  I have to threaten washing, and then after that threat is over with, I have to threaten removal from the tub, and I can't believe I'm already at that one-two-three OR ELSE stage, and blah, disciplining isn't fun and it makes bath time shorter and who wants that, and wouldn't it be more fun just to stomp around in the tub?  Who cares if she slips and falls?

Yep.  Here we go.  Eighteen months, and it's parenting for real now.

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