Wednesday, June 11, 2014

That little word "don't" just makes all the difference

Terza is a wunderkind as relates to verbal expression; she's quite a talker and it's no surprise why, coming from this family of borderline pathological chatterboxes.

But she hasn't grasped one shockingly simple word and it's making life rather aggravating for me. Her lexicon doesn't appear to include the word "don't."

Let me be clear. She expresses the sentiment of "don't" - very, very frequently. She is all about NOT wanting something, NOT being on board. That's kind of her thing now. It's a shitty thing to be your thing but not altogether uncommon for a child of two years old.

She just doesn't know how to express this sentiment verbally. She's nailed down "No!" as well as "No way, Jose!" and, even "It's not fair!"

But, often, she says "I want it!" when she actually means, "I don't want it!" or even "I absolutely don't want it" or even, "There is nothing on God's green earth I want less than that abhorrent abomination of a thing you are offering me."

Yet, what she says is, "I want it!" This leads to some very confusing, and equally frustrating, interactions.

Case in point: she wakes from a nap, cranky as all hell, and I ask "Do you want some milk?" and she replies, in a snarl: "I want it!" and I go get it and when I give it to her, she slaps it out of my hand, hard, like I've just mortally insulted her, handed her a steaming pile of cow dung to ingest.

"I WANT IT!!" she shrieks.

"So, I"m giving it to you!" I reply.

"I WANT IT!" she reiterates, swatting at it again.

"You want it?" I confirm.

"NOOOOO!" she bellows.

"So you DON'T want it?" I try again.

"I," she starts, and I'm paying attention, really rapt here, "WANT. IT."

"Mommy doesn't understand," I say, "You want it or you don't want it?"

"I want it!" she screams, shaking her head.

This is the point at which I want to scream: "I AM LIVING IN CRAZY LAND!" Usually, I suppress this instinct though not always.