Tuesday, April 8, 2008

M&Ms on the Brain

One of the things I like best about our girl is her ability to take an idea and stick to it until she's explored every angle. For example, she found no end of things to do with her wooden trains (most of them not related to riding on tracks-but fantastically complicated social interactions.) From trains it was on to rocks, and then pompoms reigned supreme for a good long while. I am now somewhat chagrinned to announce the dawning of the Era of M&Ms.

It started harmlessly enough. Elise remembered seeing a book about counting M&Ms at the library, so I dutifully looked for it. A pretty spiffy little book, really. I was impressed because within the space of a week she'd used it to learn how to count by 10s and was getting the hang of counting by 5s. From there, she wanted a chance to sort an count real M&Ms so I indulged once. Apparently, she thinks they're tasty.

Today, Elise woke up convinced that she'd be eating M&Ms within minutes. Generally, I've learned to dread days on which I'm greeted with her very firm idea of how things are going to be, since it never goes very well. As Elise gets older, it's been a little easier to figure out what's going on. It's a little terrifying to watch the wheels go round as she tries to bend reality to her will-I am seriously not going to be a match for her as she grows up. There's no distracting, there's no diverting. She's just grouchy and out of sorts and easily frustrated all day long. And single-minded.

This morning, I was assaulted by requests and then demands that I purchase M&Ms. I'm not in the habit of taking orders from four-year-olds, so I said "No." I thought that was the end of it, but as I dropped her at school Elise asked again. Ugh. "No."

This evening when I picked her up, what were the first words out of her mouth? "Mommy! Did you get M&Ms?"

We talked about how I like it when she's happy to see me because she likes being with me, not just for treats I might give her. "Okay, Mommy. But can we still have M&Ms after dinner?" Literally no giving up with this kid.

I'm sure I've conditioned it into her-this persistence until she gets what she wants. And you will all be as distressed as I am ashamed that I did indeed give Elise M&Ms after she redeemed herself with a tantrum free dinner. I have got to find a better way of dealing with these obsessions that rule her days and thus mine.

To that end, I've checked out a book recommended by one of the mommy bloggers I read regularly. Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky A Bailey. Now I just have to get the screaming about M&Ms to stop long enough to read it...


Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm M & M's Yum...

SWE said...

Alright, Elise. Who told you it was okay to use mommy's computer to leave comments on her blog? No, we're not going to have M&Ms today so you might as well find something else to talk about.


Jaya said...

I suppose there's no chance of replacing the M&M's with, say raisins? (They come in different colors and everything.)

This from someone with no kids (and the cat won't eat raisins--or count them.)

Anonymous said...

Ah, Jaya, always so practical. Remember when we used to give out raisins on Halloween until we overheard kids telling others not to bother coming to our house. "They just have raisins." I am guessing that Elise won't fall for that ploy any more than you would. (Who wouldn't prefer M & M's?) Alas, Heather, you are just going to have to wait it out. Even my kids with minds like steal traps have forgotten things. I doubt that either of them ever hung onto things that they thought they wanted in years 3-8 for more than five or six years. So by the time Elise starts college she will surely be onto wanting something else. (Though you could probably win big points with Geetha if you finally gave her that My Little Pony Super Delux Playhouse she wanted for Christmas when she was four and five and six.)