At one point, I expressed concern that Ella was using her jacket as a security blanket. Oh, those days are so behind us. Now, she despises her coat. She refuses to put it on. It's a battle each and every time. Tonight when I was picking her up, I grabbed her coat from her cubbie as I walked over to her, and instantly she tried to push it out of my hands and just cried out, "Momma no." Her cry of "Momma no" wasn't a defiant no, but more that she truly hated the coat and a plea not to force her into it. My heart was breaking.
I showed her that I was wearing my jacket, so she needed to do the same. That didn't work. I told her it was cold outside and the coat keeps her warm. That didn't work. I said if she wanted to leave that the coat had to go on. That didn't work. During all of this, all she would beg and plead with me not to wear it. Her teacher told her if Ella wouldn't wear it, then she would. Tanya stuffed one arm in the jacket and Ella cautiously laughed. I tried to be patient, but she was standing her ground and was blatantly refusing to cooperate. I thought about cutting my losses, grabbing her and letting her walk without wearing her coat. The weather was cool not cold this afternoon, so it wasn't like I would be exposing my kid to extreme elements. I also realized that if I gave in this time then I was setting a poor precedent because I knew Mike had fought the same battle this morning and Ella left the house with the jacket securely on.
I crouched down knowing my daughter would have an extreme dislike of me, at least for the short term. I quickly threw an arm in each sleeve all while Ella was sobbing. I didn't bother to zip the jacket. I grabbed Ella and headed for the car. I was no more than three steps out of her classroom when she spotted the drinking fountain and asked to have a drink. The tears stopped and Ella and I took turns at the fountain. I then spotted the bathroom and quickly remembered my bladder was full. Ella and I ducked quickly into the bathroom, only for Ella to rip the jacket from her body the instance I was indisposed. So I had the great fortune to replay the entire jacket saga once more.
I was thrilled once we were actually making our way to the car. Ella was still upset but the tears had slowed to a trickle. I was ready to just head home. One problem, Ella refused to be strapped in the car seat, much less even sit in it. I felt so defeated and tired, but summoned enough energy to quickly win that round. My reward was listening to my kid whine and cry the entire drive home. She stopped long enough to point out an ultralight in the sky. Of course, she called it a helicopter, but it did give me a break from the tears for a few moments and once it disappeared into the night, the crying resumed. I was so thankful to pull into the driveway, so I could free that kid from cage.
I guess this behavior is what people mean as the "terrible twos." As trying as tonight was, I must say part of me enjoys watching the little miss "I do it" develop her independence.