Sunday, December 2, 2012

It is 630am and Pursy has just jumped into bed with us and burrowed herself like a little squirrel inbetween Grant and I. This used to happen to much earlier in the morning and thus was much less cute. But today it was sweet and cuddly.

We set our Christmas tree up yesterday and since Pursy and I were the only ones awake, I suggested we sneak down and sit in front of it and look at the lights and ornaments. With coffee, of course..

She reached over and turned on my bedside light. Grant immediately groaned and protested by pulling the covers over his head.

Me: Pursy, turn that light out. Daddy is still asleep.
Pursy: No.
Me: Purslane, I said turn out that light immediately.
Pursy: And I said No.

Isn't that the crux of parenting? Two wills battling it out for dominance. Except it isn't an equal battle- while she is 2 years old, my No will prevail more often then hers. And it is my solemn duty while she is young to keep her safe and teach her that life is about making choices- by choosing when to say No. And when I tell her No, I expect her to obey and do what I ask. As she grows, I will have to say No less often. She will begin making her own decisions based on the information I have given her in these first few years.  It is a huge responsibility. If I say No too often, she will be afraid to explore the world and figure things out on her own. If I say No not often enough, she will learn by having to correct bad choices that may harm her more then necessary.

I admire her confidence and stubbornness. The last thing I want to do is squelch that visceral reaction that makes her so sure of what she does and does not want to do. I just have to make it a strength of hers and something that helps her navigate the rough waters of her young life.

And I will long for the days when the biggest battle of wills we have is turning off the bedroom light.

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