control

Those of us who came of age in the ’80s may remember a little ditty from Janet Jackson that went something like this:

Got my own mind
I wanna make my own decisions
When it has to do with my life, my life
I wanna be the one in control.

Even though the Potato was born almost 20 years after this pop tune was released (ugh, did I actually write that?), he seems to have adopted it as his theme song of late. Those of you who have endured enjoyed the presence of a two-year-old in your lives will no doubt know what I’m talking about.

Yes, we’ve reached that moment in toddler-dom where every interaction is an opportunity for conflict, if it doesn’t happen exactly the way he thinks it should. Just tonight, the Potato insisted on:

a) closing the door of his classroom when leaving daycare
b) climbing into his own car seat
c) pointing out several notable landmarks on the way home, and insisting I acknowledge them (“dirt, Mommy!” then thirty seconds later, “other dirt, Mommy”)
d) climbing out of his car seat
e) closing his car door
f) opening the door of the house (well, okay, he had to be carried in because he wouldn’t open the door in a timely fashion, and I was cold and wanted to go inside. Instant meltdown.)
g) taking off his own coat
h) turning off the tv show that his sister was watching (eliciting screams of outrage from the Bee)
i) eating dinner with his fingers, not a fork
j) crumpling up several napkins into balls of goo, rather than let someone else wipe his face and hands
k) turning on the light to his room
l) turning on the light to our room
m) putting toothpaste on his toothbrush
n) picking his bedtime stories
o) and last but not least “I like door open” (which he says urgently every night as we’re leaving the rooom)

The endless variations on “I do it” are getting kind of old, I have to say. I’ll be happier when a certain boy’s reach no longer exceeds his grasp 90% of the time.

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February 9, 2006. growing up. 14 comments.