..is any toddler that lives. At least I’m guessing that to be true based on my own personal experiences.

But stubborn alone does not begin to describe a toddler. Add to it demanding, whiny, irrational, persistent… and utterly endearing. How is that possible? How can you love unfathomable amounts someone who is so contradictory to what we expect a lovable person to be? Is it the pigtails? It’s probably the pigtails.

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Recent examples of stubbornness include:

  • I warmed up some spaghetti and gave it to Aria in one of her bowls. I then warmed myself up some of the exact same spaghetti, and had it in one of my adult bowls. I sat next to her at the kitchenette table, but she stopped happily eating her own spaghetti when she saw mine. She then became very persistent that she wanted mine. I tried to show her it was the exact same thing, but to no avail. I took one penne noodle from my bowl and put it in hers, just to emphasize how it was the exact same thing but instead she only ate the noodle I had just placed there, and refused to compare it to her other noodles. I ended up wolfing most of mine down, pouring hers into my bowl, then gradually placing hers back in her bowl bit by bit, until she ate it all.
  • Similarly she was determined to have some of Eric’s food, and he tricked her by taking the piece of food she was refusing, pretending to eat it then pretending to break of a brand new piece of food and placed the original back in front of her, so that she ended up eating the same bit of food she was initially refusing. Ah trickery. Poor gullible little dear.
  • Cheese is one of her most favoritest foods. I’m not sure if it’s still one of her favoritest foods to eat, but it’s definitely up there as one of her favoritest words to say. In fact, most mornings the first thing she says when we’re headed downstairs is “cheeeeeeese”. I often mentally add in a “Grommit” when she does that, because it’s so fitting. But when actually offered cheese, she now frequently shakes her head. What then, does she actually want? Sometimes I’ll force a bit into her mouth so that she remembers, this, here, that I’m holding, is in fact the desired cheese substance she has come to love.
  • One day Eric gave her cheese cut into cute little cubes. She refused to eat it. He smushed it together into bigger pieces and she devoured it. The next day I offered her slices of cheese, and she refused to eat it. I cut it into smaller little cubes, and she devoured it. What gives?
  • She thinks she hates applesauce, but in reality she loves it. Every time I show her a cup of applesauce she shakes her head. Once I’ve managed to force a bit onto her lips and she licks it off, she wants more. But she will not eat it without trickery. It must just look disgusting or something.
  • She has figured out that the six book limit I set before bedtime can be manipulated. She used to bring one book at a time, we would read it, then she would get down and get another book. When we’d read six I would say, “that’s it, let’s count how many books we read” and I would count the stack. One evening we had reached five books, and I said, “go pick out one more, last book” so she brought me three more. Since then she has begun to bring me every single book she wants to read that night. So we’re reading upwards of ten books a night, because I don’t have the heart to figure out how to stop this madness. However, she often brings me tons of books just to spite my whole plan, and ends up grabbing books she doesn’t really intend to read. So while we may start with a stack of 15 books, we usually don’t actually read all of those because I may open one to have her shake her head, pull it out of my grasp and throw it on the floor. So at least there’s that.
  • She still refuses to say mommy. She will yell at the top of her lungs, chasing after him, if “daddy! daddy!” tries to leave the room, but if I get up to go a lot of the times it’s just, “bye dada” to which I always respond, “no, say ‘bye mommy'” and am rewarded with her not even glancing my way, continuing whatever she’s doing, and repeating, “bye dada.” When asked to point to people when I say their name, she can point to every person correctly (no matter who’s asking her to do the pointing). “Where’s grandma? Good job! Where’s daddy? That’s right! Where’s Aunt Crystal? Good job! Where’s mommy? That’s right!” But ask her to say mommy and forget it. Will. Not. Happen. You can see the mischief in her eyes when she says “hi kitty” or “hi dada” to me. Repeatedly as I keep encouraging her to call me mommy. The only times she has ever called me momom were when she was in distress over something, and it’s only happened twice.
  • She now over thinks putting on a coat. She used to just go with the flow, and when you held out the jacket/coat for her to put her arm in, she did it. Now she looks at it and thinks, no, this is wrong, my right arm should go in the right side (or whatever rationale toddlers use without knowing right from left). She fought me so hard on it one day that I just let her win and put the coat on her backwards and put the hood over her face. After 4.2 seconds she was ready to let me show her how to put it on correctly.

I have a facebook friend who is prone to explaining away pictures of her toddler’s antics with “because toddler.”

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