Thursday, June 3, 2010

Defiant. But cute.

Because I waited so long to hear Henry speak, even the way he says No makes me smile. Think of a pixie cuddling a puppy on the back of a miniature horse wrapped up with a bow in an Easter basket. That's how cute it is.

But one way in which Henry is completely typical is his 2 and half year old defiance. With a sensory kid, my normal parenting strategies are less than effective. I'm not saying we have it harder than other parents, but it's certainly different. My daughter at this age would say things like, "I feel as though perhaps I don't care to go to tea today Mommy." Okay, that's exaggeration, but not by much. She did ask for a chandelier at this age.

I realize that Henry is, and has always been, in control. Believe me, I do not like that this is the case. But he could make my life miserable if he wanted to. He has the ability to scream for hours if bedtime doesn't go well. And guess which one of us (barring losing consciousness) is going to give in first. He can refuse any and all food for days if it's not presented in the right way and make a road trip worse than certain forms of tortured now ruled unconstitutional.

The main difference about parenting Henry is the time it takes to make anything work. I often feel like the funny but average looking bachelor trying to woo the prettiest girl in the room onto the dance floor. I know there's almost no chance, but if I say the right things and smile confidently, she just might buy it.

Love and Logic is a parenting strategy that I find brilliant. It combines choices and their consequences with grace and real forgiveness. I've just started to be able to communicate well enough with Henry to see how it will work with him. I'm sure I'll need to amend my style a bit for his particularity. In the meantime, good thing he's cute.

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