I have 2 boy children. Masters 7 and 4.
Those who know them are aware of their personality traits. And I reckon if you asked for 1 word to describe them, they would use………stubborn:
1.Having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, esp. in spite of good arguments or reasons…
2.Difficult to move, remove, or cure.
obstinate – pertinacious – dogged – headstrong – obdurate
This is an interesting trait when they are pre verbal. It becomes MORE interesting when they become verbal and their little personalities start to blossom, bless their dear little hearts!
Add to the mix that we often have a tight schedule and in our house it is all about picking your battles.
For Master 7, food has always been his fox hole. He digs in, and a napalm bomb will not sway him from his stance of
“That (insert offending food item here) is YUKKY.” In fact, it is probably poisonous and most definitely bad for you. I am the worst parent in the world for trying to poison my child! Well, obviously.
That is his stance on horrendous things like water melon and bananas.
Imagine what we go through if the food you serve does not look like the food we serve! Or the ONLY thing on offer is fruit and vegetables.
I think we are the only parents in the world who celebrated when Master 7 ate and liked Coco Pops late last year. Truly. Coco pops.
It is still hit and miss, as he is not a fan of milk. But its a breakfast cereal people!!!!
And just recently he blew us away when he ate a quarter of a cheeseburger. OH MY GOD.
Seriously people, I could have kissed Ronald McDonald at that point.
I am not sure you can quite comprehend if you are in a household with kids that eat food with any kind of variety, but let me tell you, for us it is like a chorus of angels starts singing and hope blossoms anew in our heart when Master 7 tries something new, and possibly, just possibly likes it. For now.
Mind you, this is a kid who loves italian and mexican food and will happily eat butter chicken. But only if its made a certain way, and has no nasty things lurking inside its yummy sauce and it looks like the last butter chicken that he ate and liked, and well…….you know how it is!
Master 4, well Master 4 loves to eat different foods. He has had the same food exposure as Master 7 and he has dived in. In fact, because of his food habits, Master 7 is loosening up as well. Relatively. Master 4 will eat watermelon, grapes, banana and apples. He will eat coco pops, weet bix, Sultana Toast, banana bread.
Now to clothes. Well!
Master 7 has always had a thing with clothes – it is a texture thing. Two identical tops can be on offer, and one will be ‘scratchy’ and the other one is ok. We have lerned not to argue, just fold up the offending item and hand it down to Master 4.
Master 4 is a different matter again. He will wear what he wants to wear and will not be negotiated with. One day when he was 3, hubby put some socks and shoes on him to go out. Master 3 did not want those particular socks. He cried and carried on about them. They were evil and torturous and nobody in their right mind would want to wear those socks.
Then whilst hubby was distracted, probably dissecting with Master 7 about what shirt was not scratchy, Master 4 (then 3) disappeared, then reappeared wearing another pair of socks and his shoes.
That was the last time we argued about socks with him or put those shoes on him – he can put them on himself!
Master 4 loves shorts. Boardshorts in particular. The brighter the better.
Now, we have moved from sub tropical living to a place where the temperature in autumn to spring will drop as low as -7. Allowing him to wear shorts and a parka is not a parenting win!
So he must wear long pants.
Remember how stubborn he is? There were epic battles, much like the men vs the Orcs in Lord of the Rings, but without a friendly hobbit to help.
We stood firm. Good parents that we are.
So we noticed he put long shorts on one day without a fuss. We could not believe it. That is unlike him, was he sick?
Nope. He was wearing boardshorts under his tracksuit pants.
And has done ever since.
This is the same child that I have gone down town with him in all his favourite spiderman pyjama top, spiderman tracksuit pants, with spiderman boardshorts underneath, spiderman undies ( i was just grateful that he was wearing undies instead of going commando), ugg boots and wearing an Angry Bird beanie, regardless of how it looks, because it counts as him being dressed and it meant that I could get out the door without having a blue with a determined 4 year old about something that was not going to make news headlines.
Our parenting philosophy has evolved over the years and is now pretty simple.
1. United we stand. No matter what. Because if one parent decides to go their own way, they may just find themselves a victim of friendly fire.
2. Pick your battles.
3. Be a velvet covered iron fist with a touch of honey. In other words, have different stategies already planned, so that when you are tired, undressed and in the shower, irrational, insane, confused or shellshocked, you can beat a dignified retreat, regroup and come back out swinging.
3. Just keep trying. You have got a long way to go yet sunshine, and you need to keep your eye on the prize!