When They Are Just Like You…

bossy toddler

He even bosses the dog around

Oh man. We have a bossy boy on our hands. Bossy and very particular. It’s all strangely familiar. Oh, well that’s because I am basically describing myself. Doh! It got me to thinking, how much of what I know is ingrained in his character should I try and fight? It’s served me well, especially professionally, but my instinct is to tell him “stop being bossy!”

For example:

I have been Spring Winter cleaning the past couple weeks in preparation for family to come mid January. I took down a ceramic owl my mother in law gave me a couple years back and decided to put it into Oskar’s room. It’s actually a bank, and he loves owls… so perfect, right? Wrong. He walked into his room and immediately spots it and tell me” That’s not supposed to go in here!” It was like a lightbulb went off. I despise when people move things in my domain without asking. He… is… me. Uh oh.

School is no different, which is generally a good thing. He attends a montessori program where they are expected to put things in their proper place before moving on or leaving a room. They even have pictures of each area so they know where to put things. The challenge is when I pick him up, he’s in a different room. He goes and grabs his jacket (on the hanger) and brings it to me. I un-zip it and try to hang it up in the new room’s closet. Oh heck no! “Mooooom! That doesn’t go there. It goes in MYYYY room!”

You get the idea. Now before people go crazy in the comments section about behavioral disorder concerns. He’s not on the spectrum. Trust me we know that answer, he’s been thoroaghly tested when he went through speech delay issues. He’s just plain ol’ stubborn and particular, just like his momma. The challenge I face these days is how to encourage him to continue to be thorough and follow the rules, but learn to be more flexible. Life is not black and white, we all know that. The best laid plans go awry. It’s a challenge I face a lot of days if I am being totally honest. For as thorough and rigid as I am, I have also learned to go with the flow (after some deep breaths and clenched fists at times).

What we have learned is we have to keep him on the same page. He’s not a kid that you can easily just say “that’s just the way it is” to. We’ve always been good at explaining what’s happening next and what to expect, he’s a very rational kiddo. In most cases when things don’t happen according to plan we can simply explain why and what the new plan is without much fuss. I think if I had told him I was putting the bank in his room or had him pick a spot there wouldn’t have been any issue at all. We did keep it in there, he didn’t flip out completely, but his gut instinct was to protest the unexpected change.

This all has forced me to look in the mirror and be honest about my own similar issues. What do I do well with them and what can I improve on? I’m Type A to a fault and it’s not always a good thing. I don’t lose things at work and I am very dependable.  On the flip side I hold people to a very high standard (the same I hold myself to) and am frequently disappointed when they do not perform to those standards. I can also be hard on myself when I do not succeed. When things get changed at the last minute I panic. Just as I try to teach Ozzie to be flexible I need to give myself the same reminder!

Also, I’ve definitely been guilty of not dealing with change well and heading back to work after maternity leave was one of those times! My former schedule and plan for the day was upside down. It took some time to make it feel more natural again. I feel like I fought internally with being able to ” do it all” the first few months back. Turns out, nope. I couldn’t do it all, not WELL anyway! Some paired down expectations and time helped out a lot! I’ve learned that my son does well with realistic expectations too!

Have you ever had a similar moment, has your kiddo shown you something about yourself that you hadn’t really noticed before?

1 Comment

  • mandy says:

    This is me and my 3 year old daughter too! Seeing yourself reflected like that is eye opening right? I’m trying to work on my own flexiblity but, it’s hard! My mom told me this was pay back. :)

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