Sunday, July 12, 2009

Daddy is in Control

You might find this hard to believe, but sometimes Zoe does not do as I ask. Even if I use my most authoritative, parental voice she may still not do as I ask. In fact she will periodically fall down on the floor and scream in direct opposition to some request I might make of her. Here are some things I’ve tried in addition to simply asking something of her. Reason; usually fails, or in some cases will appear to work as she will say yes and nod in the affirmative, yet seconds after completing a lengthy and passionate speech she will do the exact opposite of what we had just been discussing and what I thought we were in complete agreement on. Firmness; you’d think a loud voice would cow her into submission, but it usual fails as quickly as using a rock to save a drowning man. Then there’s the ‘you’re a big girl so just…’ method; I’m actually trying to bluff her with that one, but usually she won’t fall for it, and will demonstrate that she is not really a big girl by having a tantrum. And lastly there is the ‘use candy as a bargaining tool’ method. I haven’t tried this one myself, although I expect it won’t be too long before I give in.

I’ve said this before (and I will say it again), but I prefer to use the bathroom alone. However, Zoe has a special radar that lets her know when I have snuck off to use the potty, no matter how quiet I am, and she will come looking for me. Up until very recently I could expect her to push the bathroom door open and busy herself in the small room while I am doing my business. I’m not sure what the appeal is to small children of being in a small bathroom while a full-grown man sits on a toilet, but I understand I am not the first father to comment on this phenomenon. Recently, however, I have discovered that Zoe aware of and averse to unpleasant smells, so I’ve learned a little trick that is allowing me to begin reclaiming my privacy in the bathroom. When she arrives at the bathroom door and tries to get in I now tell her it is very stinky. There is a moment of silence and I can visualize her thinking about the options available, then she, miraculously, wanders off. I will hear her talking to herself as she sets off down the hall looking for other rooms to dismantle.

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