Mr. Salty is quite the bossy pants. With his explosion of articulation has come a dictatorial style which would be really hilarious if you weren’t his parent getting orders barked at you all day.
He very often doesn’t leave out the understood you, so that he begins the day after a brief “Hi, Mom!” by commanding: “You get up. You go downstairs. I wan breakfast. I wan carry you. You go downstairs.” Okay, Mussolini, let a person use the bathroom a second.
I don’t know where he gets this manner seeing as how I’m such a tender entreator with a mild, non-booming voice. Nevertheless, by the time I get the breakfast dishes laid, he’s already telling me, “You sit down, Mommy. On the blue chair. Sit. DOWN.”
My first instinct is always to lock horns, dig in and win at all costs. Even if I was on my way to sitting down, I might stand all through breakfast. “Don’t boss, me Salty. I’m the mom, not you. I’m the mom and you’re the baby. Don’t tell me what to do. And I’m not standing because you told me to sit or not to sit. I’m standing because I want to stand. I choose to eat my breakfast standing.”
Then I started wondering if this tactic was teaching him defiance. Not that he needed any lessons. He is independent and has almost no sacred cows he won’t toss on the fire to prove a point. At eight months old, he would rather die of starvation than eat one spoonful of his absolute favorite food if it were presented on the wrong spoon.
(When I posted this previously, I neglected to mention he’d gelled his hair with lotion for this shot as well.)
In this war of wills, brute determination is pretty much a draw. The only weapons I have in my arsenal are 1) reason and 2) love. Now that he understands so much, if I can rationalize my actions and injunctions to him, they stand a far greater chance of being accepted or having an effect. My other ace in the hole is that Salty loves me like crazy. He loves Daddy and his siblings, and other important adults, too, don’t get me wrong. But he is still the fervid, obsessive momma’s boy that he was a year ago. So sometimes he’s willing to do things, “for Mommmy” if he’s convinced it will “make Mommy so happy.”
On the flip side, I love him, too. He’s so stinking cute and amazing all the time. They both are. Like this morning. They are playing with balloons, and Salty orders me, “You take it. It’s a blue balloon. I got it for you.” I have to say,
“Thanks! Way to talk in complete sentences.”
And then Peppers steps in front of him with a big grin and says,