Monday, April 20, 2009


I felt like I was channeling my mother this afternoon. It was a truly gorgeous spring day in Seattle and, after getting up from his nap, I took Joris outside to play outside. After approximately four minutes in the sandbox he told me "all done, close sandbox, go play inside". I immediately started spouting things like "But it's such a beautiful day!" "Why on earth would you want to be inside on a day like this?!" and "We can sit inside any old time, it's not going to be this nice out the rest of the week!"

Joris, of course, could care less. Just like I did when I was a kid. So we spent the rest of the afternoon inside. With the door closed, because every time I would open the front door to be able to at least get some fresh air into the house, Joris would very determinedly walk over and close the door.

He has been getting increasingly contrary, which is probably no surprise to anyone who has ever been around toddlers. He is obviously testing his limits and the scope of his power; especially the power of "No!", "All done!" and "No like [blank] go home".

The last few times he has gone to soccer class, he has asked, with increasing frequency, to go home and last Friday only made it half-way through the class before Jacob just took him and left.

Then yesterday he only made it through about 8 minutes of his first play, "Goodnight Moon" at the Children's Theatre, and we suspect that it wasn't because he was scared or anything, but just that he was exercising his power to call the shots.

It's weird to hear this totally defiant "No!" in response to simple "Joris, please do [blank]" questions, especially because it's uttered in his same old cute, high-pitched voice.

It's definitely a different dynamic and we are still trying to figure out where to draw the line and which battles to pick. I don't want to be a pushover, but I also don't want to make a power struggle out of every silly little thing. Especially since, like everything, it is just a phase that will pass in (hopefully) not too long.

(As a side note; for the sake of the flow of this blog, I am not continuing to translate all of his Dutch into English or vice versa. He uses both languages about the same amount now and is becoming extremely skilled in switching languages, depending on who he is speaking with. With me, he almost always uses Dutch, unless I happen to be talking in English with someone else, then he sometimes uses English. He will often 'translate' now too. For example, if I tell him "Joris, het is tijd om op te ruimen." and his dad is in the same room, he will turn to Jacob and say "time clean up". So, just because I am using English in the Joris quotes, it doesn't mean that that is the language it was actually uttered in!)

No comments: