Songbird can be a little… stubborn.
Truthfully, she comes by it quite honestly. When I was little, my family called me hard-headed, which was abbreviated to HH. When I talk about Songbird’s little ‘tude, I think my parents just sort of sit back and laugh on the inside… and sometimes even on the outside. (The curse works!)
We are in the throes of the noes right now. Every question, request, or instruction posed to the child receives a “No” in response.
We’ve learned to use this to our advantage…
Q: “Will you ever have a boyfriend?”
Q: “Do you want a car when you turn 16?”
Q: “Are you ever going to ask for money?”
Q: “Will you ever stop loving your mommy?”
And so on and so forth.
But I don’t think it’s helping. (I’ll just throw another dollar in her therapy fund.)
Every night before I put her in bed, Songbird insists that we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. There’s a section inside that describes what the caterpillar eats … one apple, two pears, etc, etc. The apple one is Songbird’s favorite; I’m not sure whether it’s because she can actually say “apple” or because we eat lots of apples around here. One page shows five oranges. Eric Carle’s oranges, except for the color, look somewhat similar to his apples:
She calls them apples, despite my repeated attempts to get her to say “orange”.
I realized the other day that her teachers must be working on teaching colors. She pointed at something and said, very clearly, “bah-lue.” Lo and behold, the whatever-it-was, was blue. So we’ve been quizzing her on other colors.
Knight held up a piece of blue construction paper the other day, and she correctly identified it as “bah-lue”. Next, green. She made a valiant effort to say, “green”. Same with yellow.
Then he held up an orange one. She said (and I can’t make this stuff up), “apple”.
Oh, yes, she did.
I took her to the doctor over the weekend for the runny nose and coughing that everyone seems to get this time of year. (Side note: ear infection. Boo-hiss. Antibiotics to the rescue!) In the waiting room, they have a ginormous orange crayon on the wall.
I pointed to it and asked her what color… (wait for it)…
That child said, “Apple.”
Thank you, Eric Carle.
I’m very pleased to report that my trip to the mall went off without a hitch! I’ve gotten so used to running errands without my kids – racing around during my lunch hour or asking Knight to watch them while I go on the weekend – that I think I psyched myself out about the whole thing. Jet sat perfectly still for his haircut, and then we walked around taking care of my other stuff.
Songbird didn’t fuss once in her stroller, which blew me away. I think she was overwhelmed by just looking around and enjoying the people-watching. Eventually, her outgoing self came through and she started trying to wave to every. single. person in the whole dadgum mall. It’s like she thinks every person everywhere made the effort to get out of their pjs and bunny slippers and venture into public just so they could see her.
She does this sort of thing all the time at the grocery store, which makes me wonder why I was so worried about this trip in the first place. You know how when you go up and down the aisles in the grocery store, you sort of cross paths with the same people on every aisle?? Songbird delights in waving and giving an over-the-top, enthusiastic “HI!!” to those people over and over again! “Hey, you! Hi!”… (next aisle) “Oh!! There you are again! Hi!” *wave* …. (next aisle) “You came back again! I know it’s because you love me! HI!!!” *wavewave*… (next aisle) “OH MY GOSH! I just LOVE when we meet up like this! HI!!!!!” *wavewavewave* *bounce in the seat*… and it just crescendos from there.
What’s interesting is the reactions of various people in these situations. Knight and I have a plan for a very interesting social experiment we’d like to conduct. We’d call it The Official Report of Jerkiness. We’ll take Songbird to the biggest grocery store we can find and slowly troll the aisles, making note of who smiles or waves or says hi back and how many times. The ones who smile/say hi back/wave (even if it’s just that awkward little wave after the sixteenth aisle, when they flick their eyes up to mine like I should teach my two-year-old the proper grocery-store-greeting etiquitte) get gold stars on their charts and the others get coal in their stockings. Because, really, WHO doesn’t say hi back to a friendly, smiling toddler with pigtails?!?! The JERKS, that’s who. (Harumph.) THEN I think we should make those who don’t say hi, sit in front of a huge screen and watch videos of happy toddlers and cute kittens until they crack. I mean, what is WRONG with these people?!?!
OK, clearly I wouldn’t make an unbiased study. But still. The data could be valuable. There might even be money in it for us!