Some time ago I talked about the many ways that Everett used the word “no”, and speculated on when we might hear the defiant “No!” that is common for children his age.  Our speculation is over.  He now says no defiantly several times a day. Sometimes he even starts throwing in a few preventative “No!”s as soon as me or Melissa start talking, which can be both amusing and exasperating. At the same time he is becoming quite particular with regard to just about everything. For example: we went through a brief phase where he only wanted Mom to put him to bed or get him from his crib; he got pretty angry with Chris the other day for putting peanut butter on the wrong side of his waffle (flipping the waffle over was not a satisfactory solution). As tempting as it may be to try to reason with him during these times, we have been able to keep in mind that the issue is mostly about control rather than the specific details of what is going on. Everett sees his parents as omnipotent, which we think he finds both reassuring and infuriating. Until now our primary disciplinary technique has been timouts, which have been pretty effective, but during our trip to Rehoboth last summer he set a record of 6 timeouts just to get one diaper on in the morning. Ouch.

Everett has also recently become the rule enforcer. By this we mean that he has been assembling a list of rules, and he takes the time and energy to ensure that everyone is following them. For example, when we visited Carrie and Armin last fall he learned that you do not wear shoes in the house. Ever since we returned he reminds Melissa of this (Chris does not need to be reminded to take his shoes off): “Mom, we do not wear shoes in the house.” He has also become aware that certain words such as “stupid” are not nice, and he points out whenever we or a character on television uses it: “We don’t say stupid.” In short, Everett has become pretty bossy. We don’t have the authority that we once did with him, but thank goodness for other authority figures in his life to help out, especially his teachers at school.

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