Saturday, March 27, 2010

Naughty by Nature

Tell me if this qualifies as defiance.....

So lately, whenever I ask Rollie to do something (clean up your multitude of plastic animal figurines, throw your used tissue in the garbage can, get over here so I can fix the underpants you've successfully put on backwards, inside-out, upside-down and sideways), he does so, but he does it on his terms, usually with a drawn-out, emphatic explanation as to why he's chosen to take the path of most-resistance.

It's gotten pretty maddening, exhasting, and sometimes my head spins as I witness him blur the line between insolence and independence.  Like, should I spank him or award him with a degree in adult psychology?

Yesterday, I was in his room, scrambling to get it in a semi-neat state before Dadda came home, and I was trying to employ his help:

Me: Rollie, help me clean up these airplanes.
Rollie: That's okay, you can do it, Momma.
Me: Uh, you were the one who dumped them all out, so really I'm doing you a favor by helping you clean them up.
Rollie: I'll help you in a couple minutes.
Me: No, you'll help me right now.  Dadda's on his way home and I don't want it to look like a bomb went off in here.
Rollie: Okay Momma, just a second.
Me (sighing): Rollie, just get over here and help me or I'm taking all of these away.
Rollie: Oh!  Okay!  Thanks, Momma! (When he can tell I'm not kidding around he suddenly develops this theatrical tone like, I'm as cute as an Oscar Mayer commercial!  Don't put me in time out!)

But instead of quickly gathering the airplanes up and placing them in their basket like a normal person would do, he selected one and made it fly (accompanied by his own personal jet-engine noises) up and down, side-to-side, before it comes in for an elaborate crash-landing into the basket.  One by one he picked up the planes (of which there are about fifteen), and flew them slowly into the basket I was holding.

By the fifth one I was ready to scream Just put them all in the basket already! but I stopped myself.  I mean,  was he really being naughty?  He was doing what I asked, right?  Sure it was taking him twenty times longer to do it his way, but still, he was cleaning up his airplanes.  If I yelled at him or gave in to my aching desire to just scoop them all up and put them away myself, wouldn't he just figure that he can get me to do his bidding by doing my bidding his way?

See?  Madding, I tell you!  Who needs a drink?

He does this all the freaking time now.  I ask him to come sit so I can help him put on his socks, and he'll do a lap around the entire house before diving across the coffee table and into my lap, sticking his feet in my face.  Technically not naughty, but annoying as hell.  Or lately when he has to go pee, he wants to do it on his plastic potty seat, even though for months he's been either standing up on a stool or sitting directly on the regular toilet.  When he sits on the little potty, I have to empty it and clean it out each time--usually while I'm trying to keep Elsa from sticking her hands in it or unrolling the toilet paper or something else destructive and/or just plain gross.

And somehow I almost think Rollie knows all of this, which is why he insists on doing things the way that will require the absolute most amount of effort on my part.  Even when we're just talking, he's doing it his own, weird, somewhat-imaginative-but-also-so-irritating-I almost-want-to-laugh way:

Me: Hey Rollie, do you want to go to the park today?
Rollie: Blluullulop!
Me:  You want to go?
Rollie:  Bllullooulop!  That means yes.
Me: yes.
Rollie:  Bllulluuuloop!
Me: let's get your shoes then.  Go get your socks, please.
Rollie:  Brruuuooop!
Me:  Yes....socks...good...
Rollie: Brruuuoooop!  That means no.
Me: What?  That sounds just like 'yes.'
Rollie: Brrruuuooop!  That means no.  Crocs.
Me: don't want your socks because you want to wear your crocs?
Rollie: Blluulluuuoop!
Me: ......(sigh)

I'm pretty sure this is the closest he'll ever come to having a diabolical, criminal mind.  It's a good thing I'm still bigger, stronger and faster than he is....because sometimes, when I'm just drained and ready for their bedtimes to hurry up and get here, I swear that he has leveled the intellectual playing field.

Don't major in English, kids.  You will end up with the mental agility of a precocious three-year-old.

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