Swearing Black is Blue
In my last blog post ‘Planting a Seed’, I talked about the importance (for toddlers) of feeling in control. This desire is guaranteed to lead to regular altercations, frustration all round, tantrums (mostly from the little person) and sometimes, just sometimes, amusement (definitely only from the parent’s point of view).
Alongside ‘planting a seed’, a favourite strategy of mine is ‘reverse psychology’. This ignites The Boy’s natural desire to object and want to do the exact opposite to what is being asked of him. For example, the old trick of “So you’re not hungry; can I eat some?” when mealtimes are particularly slow, or “I don’t think we should go to playgroup today,” to spur him into getting his shoes and coat on. I always allow myself an inward snigger when this works.
Our boy’s need for complete control has really stepped up a level now though: he is actually redefining reality! And it can pretty entertaining (when it is not completely tiresome of course).
His latest habit is making statements which he knows are untrue but that, importantly, are the exact antithesis to what we have just said. I’m not sure if this in itself is a toddler ‘thing’? None of my real-life mummy friends seem to be experiencing it. Here, it is invading every aspect of life!
Let me provide some further examples (my personal top 10):
1. Upon opening the curtains:
“Oh no! It’s raining!”
“It is NOT raining. It is a sunny day.”
2. At preschool:
“The doors aren’t open yet – we’re early.”
“The doors ARE open. Everyone is inside. I want to go in NOW.”
(Everyone is actually standing outside within earshot).
3. Reading a story:
“Can you find the toadstools?”
(Pointing to the toadstools) “Those are NOT toadstools! They are helicopters.”
4. At lunch time:
“It’s pasta – your favourite!”
“It is NOT pasta. It is BEANS!”
5. Going up the stairs at nap time:
“Hurry up because your sister is getting overtired.”
“She is NOT tired. She is dancing.” (She is 6 months old and definitely not in a dancing mood.)
6. On the motorway:
“There’s the sign for Junction 9.” (As previously mentioned, The Boy is a number spotter.)
“It is not 9. It is ten. Ten! TEN!”
7. Playing in his sandpit:
“Wow, that’s a big hole – have you hit the blue water [plastic] at the bottom?”
“It is not blue, it is ORANGE!”
8. At 7pm:
“Daddy is NOT home. Daddy is at work.” (Actually Daddy is standing right in front of him, looking rather dejected.)
9. As darkness descends:
“It’s morning time! I LIKE mornings.”
10. At bedtime:
“Mummy loves you.”
“Mummy does NOT love me. You are NOT my mummy.”
You have to laugh…don’t you?