I went into the bathroom as Rory was supposed to be brushing her teeth, and found the mirror covered in suds of some kind, all over the back of the sink about where she could reach. What is that? I asked–and she froze.
Did you do that? Dumb question, as it was wet, and she was the only child in there (or anywhere nearby).
Did you put soap on the mirror?
Did you put water on the mirror?
How did you do that?
Tell me how you did that.
Show me. I’m not mad. I just want to know what you did.
Tears, and the edge of wailing.
Wyatt comes in. It will just wipe off, he says, and gets a washcloth, and I take it. I know. Look, Rory, it comes right off. I’m not mad. I just want to know how you did it.
We go on for about ten minutes. She won’t show me, she won’t tell me, and every time I begin to lose patience (and you have to understand that I really really didn’t care about the mirror, but the refusal itself did push me–just a little, I never even raised my voice or got fierce–) tears would well up, and the lip would start, and the wails would begin.
I gave her a chioce, again, and again, too many times. Tell me, or show me, or go straight to bed with no books. She WOULD NOT. I brushed her teeth, put on her pajama top–all with her cooperating–then offered it,again, one more chance–and the wailing and sobbing began, and she ran away, away from the pajama bottoms. I don’t like you! No! I don’t like Mommy. And she grabbed the bottoms
Fine, I said, and left the bathroom, and gently closed the bathroom door, and left her kicking and screaming, and came back a couple minutes later, and said–do you want to tell me? Fierce head shaking. Do you want me to put on your pajamas? Nod.
SO I did, and put her to bed with no more than a sniffle or two. And I have no idea why that happened.
It was so frustrating. I know she understood the question. I don’t know if she was overwhelmed by stuborn-ness, or if she thought, not matter what I said (and if there are any three words I know she gets, it’s “I’m not mad,”) that I WOULD be mad, or what. And when the tears would well up and the lip would start–I have to say it again, i really was patient–I just wanted to shake her! Tell me, and read a book. Show me, if you don’t have words, and we will read a book. I am not mad. You have to answer me.
I really did want to know-because it pays to be specific with Rory, and I wanted to say “don’t put soap on the mirror” or “don’t put toothpaste on the mirror,” but it wasn’t anything I’d ever scolded her for before, or anything that would ever be a big deal. But lying, or lying by omission–can’t do that. You must answer me.
At least we got out of it without a major tantrum. But now I just want to know why she wouldn’t talk!