Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Delicate One

We've officially begun trying to tell Lauren no when she's doing something she shouldn't be. Normally it's no big deal, and we redirect her attention elsewhere. She doesn't usually get too upset.

But then there are the other times. If I try to take away an illegal substance (like, say, potting soil) while telling her NO, she will look at me incredulously, and tell me NAAAhhh! NAAAhhh! before starting to throw a bit of a fit. I say a bit, because it's still fairly easy to distract her with something else.

Before the fit happens though, I'm pretty entertained by her highly offended NAAAhhh's. She looks like she just can't believe I would take away such a harmless thing as an acorn, or a paperclip. And the tone of her voice as she tells me her own version of no - well it just cracks me up.

The other night as I was getting her ready for bed, she kept trying to roll over while I was dressing her (a natural compulsion for all babies, I'm convinced) so I told her no each time. She responded with her dubious NAAAhh! just as I expected.

Justin was in the other room with a phone call while this was going on, so when he got done, I called him into the bedroom so he could hear her for himself. But by then, she had stopped trying to roll over, and was lying happily on her back, playing with a toy.

I really wanted him to see LJ's funny new trick, so I tried to find something to tell her no about. I took her toy away, like she wasn't supposed to have it, and said "No..." while shaking my head. She looked up at me innocently with her big blue eyes.

"I swear, she was just doing it...hold on, let me try again," I told Justin.

A few more tries, and she still didn't give. She just looked confused, so I gave it one last try. I gave her another toy, one that she loves to shake and throw, and I started tugging at it, trying to get her to throw it. Come on Lauren, I know you'll show daddy that I'm not a liar. She gave a lackluster toss, and I said, "Nooo Lauren," slowly shaking my head at her.

At which point, her face slowly crumpled into a lower lip trembling, chin wobbling, eyes watering mess. This turned into sobs, while Justin and I tried to console her.

And I melted into the floor with shame.

Either she knew what she was doing, and wanted to teach me a lesson about refusing her wishes, or I'm heartless for trying to frustrate her on purpose.

It's no mystery which one of those conclusions is correct.


We are wrapped around her delicate little finger, that's for sure, but not by her manipulation.

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?