I’m going to be waging a war soon and I’m not thrilled about it. I’m trying to mentally gear myself up for the screaming, the crying, the sleeplessness, and the frustration. So far, I haven’t had the courage to start the war.
Fiona still uses a bottle for comfort. It only ever has water in it and we’ve been told by doctor and dentist that, for the time being, this is okay. Not great, not ideal, but okay. Until she’s three, then they want it gone. That deadline is approaching more quickly than I’d like.
There are pros and cons to it. The pros being that it’s easier, the cons that it’s not good for her. Which means that the cons will win. It is a battle I have to fight.
I lack willpower. I know that I need to find it. I’ve tried reasoning with her. I’ve tried planning. I’ve tried trickery. I’ve tried bribery. I’ve tried distraction. What I haven’t tried is being tough.
I lack willpower. I have to build it though. Willpower is a lot like a muscle. And, like learning to exercise regularly, you can’t trick or reason yourself into having it. You just have to do it.
I like things that I can trick myself into doing. Things I can reason my way through. I don’t like the things that require me to make a long series of consistent choices. I get bored. I get tired. I just plain hit a point where it seems like the benefits of having willpower don’t outweigh the pleasures of not and I just give up.
Putting that out there in that way makes me want to change that. It sounds terribly weak, terribly sad to say that I don’t do things because they’re hard or unpleasant. That’s not the person that I want to be.
I also don’t want to be the person who takes away my daughters comfort item before she’s ready. It’s all well and good to say that I should do this, but when it comes to transitions it’s not just about me. It’s about her too.
It’s hard to tell if the bottle is a comfort she needs or just one to which she’s accustomed. She would cry equally loudly for either. She is dramatic. She cries equally for getting hurt and for not getting enough attention. She will tell me, both in words and not, that it is a need.
She, unlike me, has willpower in spades. She is persistent (In the last 5 minutes I’ve been asked if we can go to the playground roughly 30 times). She also is not on my side on this one. She doesn’t want to give up the bottle. She wants to keep it.
We’ve talked about this. I told her the other day, “Fiona, you’re getting to be a big girl and soon you won’t need a bottle anymore.”
To which she replied, “No, I baby.”
I laugh gently, “No you’re not, you’re Mommy’s big girl!”
To which she got down on the floor and started to crawl around saying, “Goo-Goo, Gah-Gah.”
There is a battle coming. I’m trying to prepare, but I’m horribly convinced that I am over-matched in this case. I cannot challenge my little daughter’s stubbornness. She gets it from her father and I’m just not in their league.
There is a battle coming. I’m scared.