For a few days, whenever we went out to the car to go to school in the morning, Molly would point at some bird poop on the front of the car. “That’s gross”, she would say. Sometime she would ask if I was going to clean it up. I would respond that yes, I would get around to it some time, but it’s not at the top of the list right now. Now Molly seems to have had enough waiting. Today she asked me to have it cleaned up by her nap time. I’m not kidding. She said sweetly, “Can you clean up that bird BM today?”, then adding, “Before my nap time?”
The bird poop is still on the car, but Molly’s request is probably a good sign. As noted earlier, Molly is now more prone to using calm words than crying or screaming or throwing a fit. Her ongoing speech therapy, which she just completed, encouraged her to use words instead of just getting frustrated and mad. Now she knows how to communicate her needs, aka ask for stuff, like cleaning the bird crap off your car before noon. (I suppose it is good make clear and specific requests!) Now that she has better words, Molly is apparently a lot more confident and less frustrated in school.
Molly enjoys her new-found voice at home too, and she has a lot to say. Molly has asked me to pull the car over — immediately, as in right now — so that I can get one of her toys that fell to the floor. She has complained bitterly that the new decorative plate does not go on the new glass table. It was not there before, after all. She has recently accused our dog Muffin of taking and hiding some of her stuffed animals. Molly has stated earnestly that Claire’s old shiny, black shoes do in fact fit her, even as they fall off her feet while she stumbles around. Claire, for her part, has mostly escaped Molly’s new assertiveness so far, although the sisters did have a big argument over who got the pink plate for dinner the other night, and who got the purple one. Molly won the pink plate on a coin toss.
One area where we still have verbal deadlock is the “but I do/don’t want to” stalemate. Sometimes we ask Molly to do something like come upstairs for bedtime, and her response is, “But I don’t want to”, often said calmly, and as if that should settle the matter on the spot. We’ll repeat that it is time for bed, and she replies — again — that she does not want to. (I mean, these big, dopey grown-ups just don’t listen! Did they not hear me the first time?) Acknowledging that Molly does not want to go to bed sometimes helps, but not always. These situations still often lead to Molly crying and screaming. We’re making progress, but we’re not out of toddlerhood just yet.