Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yes, you will

Chloë's been saying "Nana," for a while now, to indicate that she understands we've told her no about something. But she hasn't really used it personally, shall we say, until today.

She and Halmoni (my mom, who's been visiting, and was responsible for the new chair, which Chloë adores) and I were eating oranges (which she persists in calling apples) and her hands and face got drippy, as was to be expected, so her halmoni got her a paper towel and wiped her clean. Chloë wanted the paper towel herself, to finish the job, as she always does, and Mom gave it to her. Chloë wiped herself and then threw the paper towel on the floor. "Go pick that up and throw it away," I told her. She looked at me blankly and I thought I'd packed too many things into my instruction, so I broke it down: "Pick that up."

"Nana," she said, and shook her head violently, something she's just learned to associate with "no."

"Excuse me?" said Eric, who was standing nearby. "Pick that up, right now."

Chloë just stood there a moment. Then she picked up the paper towel and took it to the garbage. "Good girl, thank you," Eric said, and so did I when I had uncurled from my fit of silent laughter and turned again to face her. It probably shouldn't have been that funny, especially considering this is the first step in a defiance escalation. I was sure she was going to refuse outright to do what I said. Eventually she will, and we'll have to decide what to do. For now, we have a reprieve.

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