A middle child in the making

When Ava was four, she had just left a phase that made me think the term “terrible twos” was coined by someone yet to experience the shitstorm that comes with a child’s third year. Olivia, on the other hand, was a delightful three year old, though she’s more than making up for that reprieve now.

I think it would be unfair to ignore that our parenting style has changed quite a bit in the three years that passed between these two milestones. With Ava, no meant no. (This worked until she figured out that her father could be talked into most anything, and she’s become a master at negotiation since.)

With Oliva, we’re . . . different. We’re tired, and we’ve let our guard down. When requests (demands?) are made, we acquiesce with little conversation or debate. Certainly, sometimes, we pretend to put forth effort. We say, “Olivia, you outgrew those pajamas two years ago, and we refuse to pull them out of storage yet again. You’re done with them.”

And yet, in mere moments, the pajamas come out, and we find a simple compromise that makes an otherwise challenging preschooler downright gleeful.

With any luck, the only downside to our more relaxed approach is the negotiation experience Olivia will ultimately lack.

 

 

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Katie on May 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Oh my. Such cute toes!

  2. Posted by Nicky on May 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Just think of the adults they will eventually become. I’m sure Ava’s negotiation skills will come in handy someday. And wanting to wear an old pair of pajamas surely falls under the “It’s just not important enough to fight about” category.

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