control

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Despite our best efforts to constantly reframe and redirect, Brooke spends much of her time asking Katie to say and do particular things. She is an interactive kid. She often wants nothing more than to play with and talk to her sister, but she still doesn’t quite have the tools in her arsenal to know how to go about it in a way that might be a little well, um, hmm, how can I put this delicately? OK, fine – less annoying to her sister.

Quite frankly, it can get pretty tiresome. Just think, all through dinner, all through coloring together, all through bedtime .. something like this.

“Katie, COULD you say, “Knock knock?”

“Not right now, Brookel.”

“Katie, COULD you say, ‘That’s silly, Brooke?'”

“Not right now, Brooke.”

“Katie, COULD you say, ‘Blaaaaaaaah?'”

“Not right now, Brooke.”

“Katie, COULD you say, ‘What happened to the dog that tried to fly?'”

“Not right now, Brooke.”

Bless her little heart, Katie does often give in and say these things. We encourage her to play along, but we also want to empower her to say no when she’s just plain had enough. It’s a tough balancing act – tolerance and understanding vs a seven and half year-old’s typical and understandable desire to maintain at least a modicum of control. A balancing act that apparently little sister is on to. This morning at the table, the ‘conversation’ took a novel turn.

“Katie, COULD you say, ‘Not right now,Brookel’ please?”

“Not right now, Brooke.”

She suddenly stopped what she was doing. She looked momentarily stricken. I could see the thought flash across her forehead.

“Dang, she got me.”

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12 thoughts on “control

  1. Too funny! Brooke’s great!

    Nigel often does this with his friends – not only tells them what he wants them to say (usually because he wants them to act out a movie scene with him) but also tells them how, and in what tone. My younger son retaliates by telling Nigel what to say. Then correcting, “No, like this . . .” Control, indeed.

    P.S. That photo is darling!

  2. Oh my! I’ve broken out into full belly laughter! The funny thing is, this reminded me of how I used to pester my older brother. Like Brooke, I wanted nothing more than to talk and play with him – but he found me annoying or wanted to be left alone. So ensued the normal younger/older sibling chase and evade dance. If only I could have come up with an answer like Brooke! Brilliant!

  3. well, anyone who’s not in the holiday spirit can just look at that picture and be all set. very sweet, with the sisterly love.

    “a seven and half year old’s typical and understandable desire to maintain at least a modicum of control”

    which is so important. she’s gotta protect her feelings, emotional needs. what i’m always struck by…you mention her age and it just doesn’t sound right. seven and a half? from the words and reactions you relate, she sounds so mature. she’s one of those “old soul” people without a doubt.

  4. M – i am often convinced that Katie is just a very small forty year old .. wait til you see today’s post … it’s honestly a little frightening

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