It occurs to me that Clare, my 2 year old, often out wits me and there’s nothing I can do about it. Usually it happens in the car, when she decides to “pick a fight.” She’ll take off her sock and throw it at me. Then she’ll whine… “my feet are cold. I want my sock.” I fumble for her sock and push the limits of shoulder motion to give it to her. After saying “I don’t want it anymore” she throws it back. I swerve a little as the balled up sock smacks me in the head.

When that’s over she’ll insist that whether I’m stopped at a light, blazing the trails, or stopping and going on the freeway, I must take the sippy cup. “can you put it in your holder?” I ask. “No. I can’t. Take it. I don’t want it.” As if the universe depends on me taking the pink piece of plastic, and at that very moment! Of course, what I do with it afterwards doesn’t matter. She’s already asking for CDs that I don’t have and wouldn’t be able to play with my short-circuited cassette player. Did I mention she was the one who shorted it by putting a coin where the cigarette lighter should have been?

Anyhow, since I’m not the world’s best negotiator, and she’s not the most forgiving hostage taker, I try to preempt her when I can. Usually I’ll sing or ask her questions. Sometimes I ask her to sing, count or tell me about her day. When she’s really responsive I might teach her a phrase like “I’m a tai chi master!” or “What does Einstien say?” To which she responds “E equals mc squared!”

One day my wife comes home with that look of amazement and amusement I’ve come to expect She usually looks like that when she’s gonna tell me about Clare. “Do you know what Clare said?” I just blinked as my wife continued. “When we were getting out of the car, she got that fake flower toy of hers. She just looked at it, like she was pondering it. And then she said, ‘To be or no to be. That isa the question.” I laughed in disbelief. Then I said that I had taught her the phrase but the whole flower thing. That was just freaky. I still don’t know why she said it and I haven’t wasted much time trying to figure it out. Before I know it, another sock will smack me in the head. Or she’ll write on me again, or try to braid my hair, or get me into one of her choke holds…


2 Responses so far.

  1. Sounds a bit like my Claire!

  2. Son says:

    In that case, God bless us both with the strength to carry on!

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