Small victories


Whine, and his good friend bossiness, have come to our house for an extended visit. Please doesn’t come over as much anymore. Unprompted Please skipped town. No forwarding address.

“Mooooommmmm! I want anoooother snaaaaack!”
It’s not snack time.

“Mooooommmmm! I wanna watch a biiiiiideo!” (bideo = video)
We are not watching a video right now.


M tells me to ignore it. How, I ask, do you ignore a sound that screeches through your ears and burrows in your brain?


“I can’t understand you when you use that voice. Please use your nice voice.”

Sometimes I forget that she is two, not stupid. We both know I can understand her just fine.

So she calls my bluff and whines again, only louder.

Nobody wins this game.

But we keep playing, thinking maybe our luck will turn.


Lunch is over and we’re washing her hands.

“I need some soap.”

No ‘please’ but no whine either. I take what I can get.

But then it happens. In the split second between the end of her question and the moment when I begin moving my hand towards the bottle of soap, she adds “Please.”

Welcome back Unprompted Please! M and I breathe the same word at the same time “Breakthrough!”

But we’re not stupid either. Breakthrough, this is not. But it is a small victory.

And, when you’re raising a human, you celebrate those small victories.

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