Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Her Way or the Highway- Piney's Emerging Personality- Age 3

I know this post doesn't change the world, but adopting and raising an adopted child is a great thing that can help change the world (what if everybody did it!).

And if you are considering it or have done it, it is truly a labor of love.

Rewarding as it is; however, it doesn't make it easy.
But that is the case with raising all children.

A typical day with Piney starts out with her waking me up.
"Wake up! Wake up! The sun is awake!" she says.

No sleeping in possible. She will literally pull me off the bed if I try to pretend she is a dream.

She usually likes to get dressed right away.

Then she wants to be fed.
"Come on mama! EAT! EAT! EAT!"
She pulls my arm into the kitchen.
I offer her some food.
She says, "NO!" and opens the fridge, "I want that!"
I respond with, "No. You do not open the fridge. I prepare the breakfast. We are having this other thing today. It is what I am serving."
I try to give it to her. She refuses to eat it or take it.
I give in because I don't want to have to feed her breakfast again later.
I then call the boys in and serve them the original breakfast.
Since she sees the boys eating the original breakfast she refuses to eat her "special" food from the fridge and wants what they are having.
She throws her "special" food in the sink or in the trash.
When she has finished the food, she wants to eat her "special" food again. Then she wants seconds and thirds and something new.
If I say "no she has had enough" she starts crying. "I hungry mama! I hungry!" - Even though she has just eaten twice as much as everyone else in the family.
This happens in reverse at dinner when she refuses to eat everything we give her (unless it's ice cream).

Often she will say she wants to go somewhere, but when we arrive she doesn't want to go there now.

She asks me to do things all day for her, but when I do she has to do it by herself.

She never lets me bake or cook alone. She always pulls up a chair and insists on taking over.

She tells me what to do and if I do it as directed she says, "Great Job! Give me a hug!" or "Give me a kiss!"

Just like an adult.

She likes to completely take over and be totally in charge. Everything has to be done to her specifications.

It is like having a very demanding boss.

However, I am stubborn and I don't do most of what she asks when she is acting bossy, and when I don't she usually backs down only to try a new approach a few minutes later.

She is a take charge girl. She is smart and she wants things done right, or at least her way.
She has to have the right cup. The right plate. If she wants a whole cookie she will not accept half of it.
The whole cookie or no cookie.
When she sets the table it has to be just so. She thinks about it. She counts the plates.
When she can't do something she has to know why.

If M and I have gone out and we return she runs to us with a big hug. Every time.

If I put lotion on my hands she needs lotion. If I blow dry my hair she needs to do it too. If I put make up on she needs to wear it. If I am using the bathroom, she has to use it. Sometimes she simply follows me around the house.

She loves school and has never had a discipline problem.
She admires herself for long periods of time in front of the mirror. Especially if I just did her hair or put a dress on her.
She is vigilant about wanting to brush her teeth and wash her hands. She picks trash up off the ground. She wants to clean everything. "I want to mop mama! PLEASE! I NEED to mop!"

She also likes to take care of people. She has a lot of imaginary hurts, but she also notices every little bump or scratch I get. She makes a big deal out of it and wants to take care of me. She doesn't like it when I say it is no big deal.

I recently found my Ipod that she took to a secret hiding place in the bottom of the sleeping bag closet. It had been missing for a month.
I find all sorts of strange things in her room.

She is assertive, strong-willed, extroverted and opinionated. Oh and she likes to talk non-stop. Now that she is getting speech services we are starting to understand the talk. I am trying to figure out which was worse.
Since our family is really pretty quiet and introverted she dominates all of us in that area.

At night she has to read me the stories. She usually allows me to read her one book and then she has to read all of the rest.

If I try to kiss her goodnight she says, "No mama! You don't kiss me! I kiss you!"
I stay still for her kiss because I know- It's her way or the highway.

I was thinking about getting this shirt for her.
What do you think?

Does your preschooler act the same way?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
My pre-schooler is VERY similar, but I really think its a girl thing! We have a book called "Polite as a Princess" that my daughter thinks is the ONLY way to be (like a princess) so that helps. It's Disney and has many of the Princesses in there describing what makes them a princess ie: manners, cleanliness, ect. I have found that counting to three works for mine two (ages 6 & 3) if the behavior doesn't end before three they have their own time-out chairs and of course whatever they wanted is history! Good luck!

Anonymous 3boys1girl said...
My 3.5 year old is the same way! I mean, you could have been writing about MY DAUGHTER! It is so frustrating and I feel like I almost have to walk on eggshells around her at times. I don't always give in to her, but there are days when I just can't deal with her issues and do whatever will make her happy. It's wrong, I know, but what do you do??? I find that she is sometimes bossy to her little friends, too, if they are her age. When she is around big girls at the park (8-9 years old) she will let them do anything to her (carry her around, push her on the swing...things she would have a FIT over if I tried to do it)and is so happy to be told what to do by them! I don't get it! It MUST be a preschool-girl "thing."

Blogger Elle said...
For the most part the boy is independent and wants to do everything himself (except getting dressed). He is very persnickety when it comes to things out of place. However, the one thing I don't do is back down. No means no. I no longer tolerate any whining and any request made in a whiny voice is met with a stern no (followed by a tantrum). He gets to make the choice for breakfast (although school days he has to eat oatmeal, hot cereal or eggs and he knows that) and he picks for lunch too. We pick for dinner and he eats what is served or he goes hungry. Snacks are at specific times and also must be eaten at the table (for the most part). So we have our ebb and flow of choices so it doesn't feel like I'm a total tyrant.

Blogger Beverly said...
Oh yes. Glenys has a need to control. I remember the I kiss you phase. I loved it and made a game out of it with Glenys.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
She sounds like she is trying to be just like you, her mom.
What a joy she must be..but that would get very tiring trying to get her to eat what everyone else has. Maybe let them take turns on what to have for breakfast.
She sounds very is good she will be independant when she gets older.
I love seeing how much she is growing by her pictures.
She is so cute!

Blogger Maggie said...
I had two thoughts while reading this post -- "what an awesome little kid" and "Jen must be freaking exhausted." I'm guessing both of my thoughts were pretty on target.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don't get the shirt! TOO much money for a T-SHIRT! Organic or not!

Blogger jeneflower said...
Don't worry! I wasn't really planning on buying her the shirt. I just identified with what it said.

I get her clothes at the thrift store or rely on gifted clothes that were given to us when we first adopted her. She has plenty of clothes! Really cute ones too.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
hi Jen,

i don't remember what age Piney was exactly when you got her, but i know she was around 2-ish... can u e-mail me so i can discuss toddler adoption with you?


ajoub@satx.rr dot com

Blogger Beth said...
I love that shirt! The only problem is that my three year old will only wear dresses.

Blogger Christine said...
What you wrote reminded me of one of my daughters. Piney sounds precious. :)

Blogger MMrussianadoption said...
My daughter is only 2 and already wants to do things herself. She gets mad if you try to help. However, she eats what I put in front of her, or she doesnt eat. She has never gone hungry. We eat 3 meals a day here and one snack. If you dont like it, go in the other room and cry because I dont want to hear it. They both eat wonderfully and dont fuss with me anymore. She knows that my dh and I dont make threats. We make promises. I follow through on everything I say. So she knows not to pull that kind of thing. If she gets her request in before I make something, ie. "I want grilled cheese", I will make her that at lunch time. If we had it yesterday, I tell her we had it yesterday and I am making soup. End of story, no bargaining. I may be mean, but when you have 2 toddlers only 10 months apart, you need to run a tight ship. Pick your battles wisely.

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