In addition to a complete lack of logic and an utterly misplaced sense of priority, toddlers also have the willpower of one with nothing to lose. Because they don’t yet know they have anything to lose.
This startling combination can bring any adult at any time to his knees, begging for mercy. Putting the three together is a recipe for madness. To give in to this, which we must all do from time to time, means sliding down a staircase step by step while holding your toddler’s hand, but only if they are three inches ahead of you because otherwise it’s all for naught and the end of the world occurs. If you’re going to look silly, you must do it right. Otherwise, you’ll look silly and still have a screaming mess of toddler puddle to strong arm down the stairs, which was exactly what you were trying to avoid by slip sliding in the first place. To top it all off, the babies in question can’t even tell you in words what they want, so you need to discern through shouts, pointing and baby blather which ridiculous thing they want you to do, and how they want you to do it. Exactly.
The other route, of course, is to show them who’s boss. I like this route because it allows me to hang onto my own personal lack of logic, disregard for priority, and willpower, all while pretending to be the infallible adult. The power trip can last anywhere from two to four whole seconds, though, before my tough-guy charade is ripped to shreds by an incensed toddler and her antics. Then we all go to our rooms to cool down, and, really, it’s just a lose-lose.
During these tough times, we must remember, the logic will come. The words will come. The priorities will come. The listening will come. Be consistent. Be firm. Don’t lose yourself. Don’t lose them. Everything will come in time. The madness can only sustain itself for so long before you get a break. Hold your breath, gently show them the right path. Eventually, they will start to take it.
Until then, they will be co-conspirators in crime.