“I don’t want to eat this lunch, Grandma. I want yogurt!”
“I’ll get you some yogurt when you’ve finished the food you have now.”
“That’s your choice, sweetie.”
Jet tried to push the food into my hands. “Take it away.”
“Are you sure?”
A few minutes later, “I have to pee, I have to pee, I have to pee!”
It sounded urgent, so we raced to the potty. Nothing. “Do you really have to pee?”
“Are you done eating?”
Back to the high chair. Jet played with her food for several minutes. “Do you want to get down?”
I picked up her dish, but she grabbed the other side of it and held on for dear life. “NOOOOO!!!!! I want YOGURT.”
I let go. “That’s fine. Eat your food and I’ll get you some yogurt too.”
“Jet, this is your last chance to eat this food. If you ask me to take it away again, you are done.” I looked at her firmly. “You know Grandma means it.”
Jet returned to the process of creaming her vegetables.
“Okay. I’m going to take this away then. Is that correct?”
As soon as I took the bowl the howling began. “I want my FOOD! Don’t take my food!” She flailed around dramatically while I removed her bib and ran to the hallway for an all-out tantrum. When the volume began to decrease slightly, I reminded her that she had removed herself for a private tantrum: she didn’t need to stay in the hall. “I need my meemie! I need my meemie!”
“You know where it is, you can go get it….do you need a hug too?” She did.
A pre-nap story was next on the agenda. “What book would you like today?” She pushed away from my hug and ran back down the hall.
“You can have your two stories and then your nap, or you can just start your nap now.” Jet considered this for a moment.
After Jet was tucked in and received the obligatory 2 kisses, the silence of nap time was pierced by a new wail, “I have to go potty! I have to go potty!”
I opened the door. “You have to go potty?” A nod. “Pee or poop?” An image of my mother cringing over the use of those two words rose in my mind. I don’t know when I caved in and started using the “P” words, but somehow I can feel my mother’s deep disapproval.
“Pee.” I put her on the potty in the bathroom. “I want to use the potty in the other room.”
“This is the closest one.”
“This is the one you are going to use.”
“Do you really have to go potty?”
“I see. Well, it’s naptime, so back to bed. Little girls need sleep and this is your time to sleep. No talking, no singing, no playing…. just sleep. Get yourself situated and I’ll cover you up again.”
Two more kisses. Shut the door. It’s Grandma’s quiet time.