|Defiant blue eyes glared back at me. I glanced around the Old Country Buffet not wanting to create a scene.
“Courtney, you know the rule: you have to at least try everything on your plate.”
Wisps of blond hair blocked Courtney’s pixie face as she shook her head. “No, I don’t want my green beans.”
I sighed. After a long frustrating day at work, I was in no mood to deal with a stubborn toddler. Consistency, consistency, consistency – how many times had I boasted that this was the key to raising an obedient child?
“Well, how about eating your carrots?” I suggested. We’d save the green bean fight for right before dessert, when I had a wee bit more leverage. Sad, really, that I needed leverage to deal with a two year-old, but at least Courtney was busy eating what she considered a tasty vegetable.
“Mommy? Try some of my carrots.” She held up a mushed orange glob for my inspection.
“No, thank you.”
“Mommy, you gotta try one.”
“No, thank you.” This time my voice was a little sterner. At some point in the past month, Courtney had decided it was only fair that we, her mommy and daddy, should have to try everything on her plate too. I again surveyed the dining room full of people, searching for my husband. He was over by the desert bar. Good, maybe seeing his dessert will push Court to try her green beans.
“Mommy! Here’s a carrot.”
“No! Thank you!”
“Mommy, you gotta try one.” This time Courtney rose up off her seat to shove the offending vegetable into my face. That did it.
“Courtney Evelyn Scholl! I said ‘No, thank you’ and when people say ‘no, thank you,’ you need to learn to accept it!” It was my turn to glare.
Courtney settled back into her seat and without blinking said, “Well, then, no thank you, Mommy. I don’t want my green beans.”
My jaw dropped. After I recovered enough to close my mouth, I said the only thing I could “Okay.” I was suddenly terrified of her teenage years.
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