Max: The Child Who Says “No”

photo-31Dear Max,

This weekend you learned to use the potty.  I realize that as a teenager you will be sufficiently horrified that I felt it necessary to tell the whole world about this milestone, but I have a reason. You, my dear son, do not like to do new things. You like going to new places, you like new people, and you like new food. You do not, however, like doing any activity that isn’t forced, required or outside of your comfort zone.

You were 15 months old before you started walking because you deemed it unnecessary.  After all, you were a mighty fine crawler and it seemed silly to rock the boat.  You only recently would even go into the water to THINK about swimming and that is because I FORCED you to swim with me. You cried. You screamed.  You then realized it wasn’t so bad.  This is the same process I used to potty train you.  After waiting a ridiculous amount of time for you to “naturally” be ready to use the toilet I woke up Saturday and said to myself; “today is the day”!  I proudly announced to you that there would be no more diapers or pull-ups. You could wear underwear or go naked and I didn’t care if you cried, which you did.  You cried some more and then Daddy showed you how to pee standing up and all was right in the world.  You now proudly acknowledge that you “love” underwear. Really? Because less than 24 hours ago you were throwing a temper tantrum that you hated underwear and you were NEVER going to wear it.

While your sister finds comfort in visiting the same places with the same people, you find comfort in wearing the same clothes and doing the same activities. You are still wearing t-shirts from over a year ago because you refuse to wear any of the new shirts I buy you.  You won’t wear long pants but instead, insist on wearing “tiny pants” (otherwise known as shorts). It is not the routine of the day that comforts you, but the knowledge that you have control over certain aspects of your life.  Every child is different and I’m realizing that you need to be pushed at different times, at different stages than your sister.  Lucy fears change – you just don’t want to put the energy into adapting.

Consider this a warning, cuz boy, I’m on to your game.

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