Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bossy Pants

Our older boy, Nathaniel, is by all accounts, a big-hearted, kind and energetic soul. On Mondays and Tuesdays at day care, he runs around like a banshee, a smile permanently plastered on his cherubic face. He always waves bye to his day-care friends an usually has hugs for each. He adores his provider, whom he calls Sue Sue, and regularly bursts into tears when it's time to leave.

Everyone thinks he's so nice, and in general they're right. But lately, our little guy has been feeling his oats, a little too sure of himself. While still adorable a large part of the time, he has been slipping more and more into a new role, Mr. Bossy Pants.

What I mean by this is Nathaniel likes to order us all around. Mommy, Daddy, baby brother Isaiah, the animals in his bed, and anyone else who happens to be in his verbal line of fire. They are pawns in his game of Who Can Get the Upper Hand. And it's a game that Nathaniel doesn't like to lose.

Some are pretty innocuous and could be seen pretty much as invitations to interact and play:
Tickle me, Daddy!
You color with me! You draw! Draw Elmo!
Chase me, Mommy! Now, I chase you!
Hide, Daddy! Now I go hide!
Close your eyes, Mommy! Now, open them!

But lately they've entered the realm of outright orders:
Don't sing, Mommy!
Don't speak, Mommy!
Sit down! Sit here! No, don't sit there!
Mommy, get up! You get up now!
Don't pat your stomach, Daddy! (Daddy pats his leg instead.) Now, don't pat your leg!

Even when it's meant to be nice, it still feels akin to an edict:
Play with me! This is said in a sharp, bossy voice, like a commandment My will be done.

Ah, yes, our little preacher from on high. Mostly Michelle and I shrug and just take it. It is pretty amusing, after all. But we are taking mental notes, keeping track of how long this phase lasts and keeping tabs on the type of orders and whether they escalate in quantity or get plain nasty. Then we'll put a stop to it.

And our little general will be back to being a subordinate again.

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