But some of the time she likes to play the game we call, "I'M TWO & YOU SUCK AT PARENTING!"
It begins by one of us, let's say me, asking the happy, bubbly girl a question.
|"Eve? Would you like to wear your pink shoes?"|
You do this, this question-asking, because you THINK it is a good thing for her development. You THINK it requires her to process and weigh information and then communicate a thought in response.
You are so stupid.
What you are ACTUALLY doing when you ask a two-year-old a question is, on occasion, offending EVERY MOLECULE IN HER BODY YOU HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE MOTHER. For the amount of pain and suffering you will experience for asking your question, you may as well have just set the kid's hair on fire* -- honestly, there would have been less screaming and putting out a fire is comparatively easy to do.
*Pro Tip: do not set your child's hair on fire.
But you don't know if this moment, this second of this day is going to be the moment when asking your child a question will result in fiery tantrums. Like a rat in a trap who sometimes gets a pellet and sometimes doesn't, the unpredictability keeps you coming back for more. (Yes, you are a rat in this analogy.)
But something changes in your child's eyes. Perhaps she senses weakness. Perhaps she is hungry or tired or annoyed by that invisible thing she hates, but you have messed with the wrong question-askee. The fangs come out, along with the word, "No."
You messed up.
You immediately try to switch tactics. Instead of asking if she wants to put her pink shoes on, you ask if she would rather put on her PINK or her BLUE shoes. You think "no" is no longer on the table.
You are wrong.
|"What about rocket shoes! Pony rides! Music! Ice Cream! Cookies! Disco! Sprinkles! Unicorns!" Note: Now looking manic.|
Ah. There it is. The terrifying question glint has gone from her eyes. Something you said worked!
The game is over! You are both winners! Hooray!