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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

My toddler won't listen to me!



"No!" my 2 and a half year old screamed as he stood, back to the bathroom wall Mom_angrykid like a mad cat. "No!"

You'd think I was asking him to walk across hot coals. In reality, all I wanted him to do was let me put on his overnight diaper and Elmo pajamas.
"Make a good choice," I say, trying to sound sweet through gritted teeth. The good choice/bad choice technique is the one they use at his day care. For me it's usually a waste of time.

"No," he says defiantly again and smacks me on the chest with his toddler-sized hand.

The door opens. It's my husband, who's been in the office on Facebook. He quickly sizes things up and firmly tells our son what he WILL do. Never mind that I also tried that approach and got nowhere.

Instant compliance. I seethe. Why does he get results with so little effort?

The feminist in me fumes. Is it because as the woman of the couple I inherently command less respect? Is it because I breastfed him for 13 months? Because I kiss the boo-boos? Because my husband is the one who has the upper body strength to playfully toss him on our bed as they wrestle around after his bath?

I vent to a colleague with young sons. Turns out she has the same problem.
We both wonder: Would it have been different with a daughter?

I don't know. All I know is that my husband gets better behavior. When he does put our son in the timeout chair, he stays. When I put him in there, he gets up repeatedly. Or he just laughs.

Am I doing something wrong? I don't know. I just wish it would stop. As a woman I already feel I get less respect from society. Do I have to put up with it from my own son?

-- Lisa Buie, Times mom

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:59am]


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