i don’t wanna

our twins recently turned two…and their behavior turned, too…

honestly, we’ve seen a lot of new, amazing, positive things happen in the months preceding the terrible two’s (which hit us at about 18 months–a time that dr. david walsh has identified as a specific and significant point in child development)…we witnessed them start to become more self-aware, use tools (like a fork and spoon), walk and run, put their boots on, learn how to be funny, play independently (sometimes), become more socially interactive, tell us when they pooped, and to speak and use a variety of new words…

of all the new words that they’ve learned…the ones that hold the title spot for my least favorite are:

“i don’t wanna” and “no”

these words can show up when they (legitimately) don’t wanna do something or say “no” to something they “don’t want”…but, they also show up often and in-between legitimate moments…when they speak these words just because they can...like the following exchange, which happens about 100 times a day…

me: you’re telling me you don’t wanna cookie–come on?!

my son: no, i don’t!

me: you’re telling me you don’t want the best tasting, yummiest thing we’ve got in the house right now?!

my son: no, i don’t!

me: what the fuck?! (not ‘out loud’)

you can see why parents need on-going and quality therapy (and potentially, on-going and quality prescription drugs)…this kind of thing, dealing with these people (children)…can make you crazy!

i am starting to see that…they are saying these words because they’ve begun to develop an awareness of their unique self in the world…differentiated from my wife and i…and so, they are resisting and rebelling against what we are trying to get them to do…

these are the first moments our kids have intentionally and deliberately tried to ‘push limits’ and ‘test us’…to see where the boundaries are…to see if we’re up to the job…and while it’s not the-most-super-fun-time we’ve experienced, we’re doing our best to ‘stand strong’–be firm, be fair, and love them along the way…

2 responses

  1. Our 10-year-old enjoyed a lovely pre-school environment and came out saying “no, thank you” instead of plain old “no”. I suppose she could have learned that from us (or not). Now, our pre-adolescent says “no, thank you” to things like “time to do your homework”, “pick up your clothes”, and “hey, time to take a shower”. It’s so disarming, its hard to engage in battle.

    I always heard, “don’t say no….say hot, danger, whatever” so you don’t teach them the knee-jerk no. Yeah…that doesn’t work. They get right away that economy of words and the reaction that defiance gets. You guys have double whammy…they’re also taking notes about where the boundaries are for the other twin.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: