I am not a demanding person. Well, at least not outright.
I am not the type to complain to a waitress if the food is cold, or call someone out for cutting in line. I hate returning things to a store.
My version of road rage would hardly scare an eighty-nine year old granny back into her own lane. In fact, I am so fearful of irritating anyone with the loud blare of a car horn that I would probably run right off the road before I’d let her know she was coming dangerously close to side-swiping my car. Trust me, it has almost happened… on more than one occasion.
A pacifist in public situations – that is how I would have to describe myself if asked. I may have very strong opinions, I may be quite demanding of myself, but if the world won’t end because of some particular situation – I would much rather let it slide and get on with more important things.
My husband is quite the opposite.
In the car, I almost have to laugh when he slows down and taps the breaks repeatedly to annoy a tailgater, then turns around a few miles down the road and complains about the old couple that just will not get out of his way. Our poor waitresses will run back and forth fetching extra sides of this or that, a little more soda and five more shakers of Parmesan cheese for that last slice of pizza. Funny thing is that all these little things just make me love him more.
But in the big scheme of things, he too is pretty laid back. We are relatively easy people to please… which brings me to the big question:
How can two pacifists merge into an aspiring, one year-old little dictator?
And no, we are not talking about the typical tantrums of not wanting to finish her peas or fussing to fall asleep by bedtime. Although I have very little to compare this to, I do believe we are dealing with something much greater here.
The other day I walked into the room to hear her barking out orders to two rather dumbfounded stuffed animals. When she saw me come in her scowl quickly flipped into a smirk as if to say ‘there’s nothing to see here, Mom. Run along now.’
Or how about the obsession with being applauded. Parents and grandparents around the dinner table and everyone claps excitedly for her finishing her meal. You might say that delighting in praise sounds like normal behavior – but then it begins. She claps again and sternly stares down her audience to ensure that they know it’s time to applaud once more. If anyone dares to stop before she grows weary of this game (grandma), our little dictator will publicly berate them in some rather harsh language we have yet to decipher.
Is this typical one year-old behavior, or should we be alerting small armies of toy animals of their imminent demise?
I suppose only time will tell, but if communications are suddenly cut… please do send help.
– Ana, Mama Moderne