For Sale: One Kid. Defiant. Mouthy. (written on 1.15)

I am glad to see the sun go down on this day. It was a LOOOONG drive to the ranch, made longer by Z’s near constant refrains of “I’m hungry” and “How much longer?” interspersed with seat kicking and “I want to get OOUUTTTT!”

Holy Hannah, I don’t know when I’ve seen so much blatant defiance radiating from one kid. She would say for the millionth time, “When can we eeeaattt?” and I would tell her that we would eat when we got to the next stopping place. Ten seconds later, “I want to eeeaatttt!” but if you offered her a sandwich, she would immediately backtrack and say she wasn’t hungry. She wanted a cookie.

She objected to every suggestion/request/order/command that was given to her by any adult in the car. The blatant disrespect she showed her grandmother – who allowed it! – made me see red.

In my former life as a teacher, I could handle anything but outright defiance. If a kid looked me in the eye and flouted my authority, I would see red and get. Really. Scary. Kids did not often defy me. Interestingly, I was not a yeller. I ran my classroom without raising my voice except on rare occasions.

Somehow in becoming a parent I have completely lost my how-to-deal-without-losing-my-shit gene. Outright defiance is a daily occurrence at our house. As is yelling and ever escalating consequences. My child has NO fear of any outcome of her behavior and would rather do what she wants and take the punishment than live within our family’s fairly easygoing boundaries. No amount of discussion/persuasion/consequence seems to make a dent in her hard little head.

I know that she is a precocious three-year-old and not an entirely rational being, but I just don’t understand her drive to have her way and damn the consequences. Why can’t she see how much more pleasant her life would be if she would just do what she’s asked/stop hitting her brother/stop breaking everything she touches? Why?

As I said, I am glad today is over. Maybe tomorrow she will be over what ever bee she had in her bonnet today. Man, I hope so.


  1. I think your daughter and my 5 year old son are soul mates. He wears me down on an almost daily basis. Good luck....we are both going to need it.

  2. My 6 year old has that same spit in your eye gene right now!!!!

  3. ummm I hate to break it to you BUT...it doesnt change my 11,13 and 15 yr olds sound just like her maybe even worse ;-)

  4. You pretty much described my 4 year old to a T.


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