Calling you “willful” is a bit of an understatement. You definitely have very strong opinions (like your parents). It can definitely be frustrating at times (your favorite word is “no,” uttered immediately upon hearing a request or idea, even when it’s something you actually want to do*). Still, there are definite positives found in that type of strength, most notably how you deal with challenges.
When we warn you something is too hot to eat, you say “no” and put steaming heaps of it into your mouth. We can tell it’s too hot based on how you’re chewing, but you always swallow, look at us squarely and say “not hot.” The same is true for the spicy foods you’re always demanding.
I’d say that stubbornness is most useful in how you leverage it to conquer your fears though (well, and being a fashionista). When something scares you or makes you anxious, you keep asking about it until you’re comfortable. In fact, your biggest fear for a long time was DJ Roomba. You’ve been conquering that fear in stages by constantly asking for us to put you in a safe place (like your high chair) and then to turn Roomba on. You just sit and stare intensely as he cirlces below. Some mornings, your first words are “Roomba off,” as though saying it is part of how you overcome. When you seem tentative about something (swimming in the deep end of the pool, petting Baby Max’s dog Derby, etc), you always say “I not scared.”
Hopefully that stubbornness will be channeled to help you achieve the things you want throughout your life. It would certainly make it feel more worthwhile during these younger years!
*I’m writing this letter while we are all sitting at the breakfast table eating cereal. Mom stopped to say “I love you” to you (twice) and you replied “no.” OK, that one was kinda funny….
I have a terrible confession: I dropped you on your head. I mean, it couldn’t have been a more direct head drop. I walked in the door (to a house full of guests including Uncle Vaughn) and you greeted me enthusiastically. I picked you up, hugged you, turned you upside down… and boom you went straight down onto you head. It was terrible. You got startled and cried (of course). I eventually put you down for the night, but felt terrible the whole night. I slept terribly I was so stressed about it.
This morning, I got you up and asked if your head hurt and you said “yes.” You showed me your boo-boo, and you definitely had a mark on your forehead. It was so sad. We kept an eye on things and all your behavior is fine, so please don’t think you were concussed or anything.
It was such a bad moment, springing suddenly from a beautiful one. I’m really sorry about that, love. Just please don’t use this as an excuse for bad grades in the future, k?
One thing I’ve always found fascinating is how the kiss of a parent has the magical power to make an injury better. Tonight was the first time you’ve come to me with a booboo where I gave it a kiss. You went from frowning to smiling and when I said “Is that better?” you answered “yes.” Even though I know there will be a lot I can’t heal, it’s pretty cool to know my lips are blessed with that mama magic that can heal the smaller hurts life throws your way.