I say this is the most loving way possible: Katie is obstinate. She is also sweet, funny, smart, polite, and animated. But, boy, is she obstinate. She wants to do everything that Maddie can do. Everything. She wants to color with markers, sit on the potty, wear shoes with laces, write her name, laugh at a knock-knock joke, brush her own teeth, and play with all of Maddie’s toys. In Katie’s mind, these are big, important things. She does not take no for an answer.
Some moments with Katie can be long. Like, when she decides it is her turn to play with her shapes app on the iPad. “Eye-pie! Eye-pie!”, she will screech. “Tay-tee eye-pie!” (Katie iPad). She will chase Maddie around the living room, grabbing for the iPad. She will throw herself on the floor. She will cry. She will scream. She is obstinate.
Or, when she decides she wants the blue cup. “Tay-tee boo cup! Tay-tee boo cup!” she yells from the top of her lungs. Off she goes, trying to grab the cup from Maddie’s hands. There she is, throwing herself on the kitchen floor. Cue the crying and the screaming. She is obstinate.
Most of the time, a little empathy and a calm voice will work. “Are you sad because you want the blue cup, Katie?” I’ll ask her. She will stop screaming long enough to nod her little head. “We’re sharing the cup, sweetheart. Remember, Maddie’s turn, Katie’s turn? Next time, Katie gets the blue cup.” I’ll scoop her up off the ground and give her a tight hug.
Other times, nothing will work. We just have to wait it out. Let the tantrum take it’s natural course. When she (finally!) decides to give up, we provide plenty of hugs and kisses and remind her how much we love her.
And, then, there are the moments when we give in. Yeah, yeah, we know. Consistency, setting boundaries, tough love, blah blah blah. Every now and again the day is long, Katie is loud, and we are tired. It was one of those moments this past Sunday when Katie decided she was too big for her booster seat and she would sit in a chair, like Maddie.
Because, sometimes, Katie just decides.