Thursday, December 5, 2013


While the ability of a child to cross their arms, stomp their feet, turn their back on you, narrow their eyes, and, of course, shout No! with the full force of an angry little monster who thinks it owns the world, is frustrating beyond all belief to the parents and caregivers on the receiving end, it is, somehow, in some twisted, masochistic way, still refreshingly typical

I'm not condoning it, nor am I celebrating it, really.  It's typical childhood behavior.  I'm glad of that.  It's not specifically unique to my child, or to Down syndrome.  It's unique to children (oh, okay, I know plenty of adults that may exhibit this behavior, too...), in general.  And did I already mention that it's frustrating beyond all belief

Samantha's defiance at home usually has a reason behind it.  I don't always fully understand the reason, but I can usually figure it out for the most part.  And then I usually antagonize her a bit and make it worse, digging deeper, getting in her face to demand answers and compliance, when really, I should just leave her alone for a bit to stew in her own misery.  But when it comes to needing to get ready for school so we can get out of the door and get her there before the 3rd bell, there is no place for defiance and the delays it inevitably causes.

Defiance, for Samantha, usually stems from her own internal sense of shame.  She knows she's done something wrong, she knows she's been punished for it, and she knows we still need to talk about it to ensure the situation is resolved.  But she hates to admit to wrong-doing.  She'd rather shut down and turn her back, her eyes dark with (benign) malice, arms crossed and locked to her sides.

And then...she breaks.

She knows.  She admits.  She cries.  She apologizes.  And then, with a hug you never, ever want to end, a painstakingly hesitant, sad, kiss of remorse as she looks into your eyes and agrees to behave next time (oh, how often this plays out), it is over.  And then, with the innocence of a child who doesn't understand that we adults know all, and can magically see the hints of ulterior motive, she asks to watch TV/play with her tablet/read her books/do whatever privilege had previously been taken away.  Ya gotta laugh. 

The innocence of a child. 

Can't beat that.


Lisa said...

Oh my another "you are talking about Cate" post. EXACTLY what we deal with at my house including my ability to make it worse sometimes and her "make up" technique! Perfect example last night "Cate pick up the wet towel and put in the bathroom", ignores me, ask again twice then she stomps in and hangs it on her sisters doorknob. When I lose it and yell at her she does the arm cross with the look then finally does it. Of course as I came to kiss her good night she cries and says sorry followed by "Can I watch TV tomorrow?". Do they every grow out of this because I swear I'll lose my mind soon?

Jenny said...

Love that picture of her, lol, she's giving you a look! It goes perfectly with the post! I have an 8 year old just like her!!

Mardra Grown Ups & Downs said...

Ahhhh yes. And I know you know, so many more beautiful years of defiance to come. Yea!

Kim Ludwig-Sharpe said...

I love the pix! Cute! And so great! So can you not celebrate...I thought that until it happened twice! Maddie and Max are notorious for defiance and Maddie will cross her arms dip her head and pout...and tell me to go away...however my kiddos it's not about the fear of's usually not getting their way or miscommunication...but I still thinking it is funny and so like me and chad...but if you can get a pix like that priceless! I have learned to say ok and turn away a lot...smiles

Angel said...

Trying to catch up on all my favorite blogs! Love this one. Coop's head-hung pouty lip gets me everytime. ;) But I too inwardly rejoice when he is typical-kid defiant. Love seeing his personality come through and him communicating what he really wants! Even though it may not be pretty. ;)