Battle of the wills

Gabriel is a stubborn child.


This face says it all

My labor to deliver G was 14 hours long. Not as long as some, but long enough. I sat dialated with him for 3 cm for 3 weeks. With labor, all was going well, but G just wouldn’t turn his little body from back to front. Once he did and made up his mind, he was out in no time!

That’s pretty much how life goes with G. If it isn’t his idea, it is going to be a struggle to get it to happen. Now that he’s turned 4, he seems to have taken on a new level of stubbornness.

Gabriel got a whole mess of Ironman toys, books, shirts, soap, action figures, disc shooters, accessories, etc for his 4th birthday. He adores them and Ironman himself. He has been not acting like a 4 year old in the toilet training department for quite some time, and J and I have run out of ideas how to combat this. The problem he is having is not one of not understanding or physiological control, it is one of being stubborn and hoping that J and I won’t notice. He is 4 now, and will be going to preschool in the fall. This cannot be happening.  He knows how to do it right, but only does when it’s his idea or when it’s overly convenient.  My latest (and last) idea of how to get him to see the light was to take away all of his new Ironman things, and he can earn them back one by one each time he does it ‘right’. I am not a parent to use bribery, trickery, or any other kind of coercion, but honestly we have tried everything except digging a hole in the yard! If he can’t make up his mind to do it right, we are going to have issues.

Man was he mad! We had a long talk about what was going to happen and why. G helped me pack up all his things and place them in a bag next to the bathroom, where they will remind him to go potty. Everytime he does it right, he gets to pick something out of the bag and have it back. If he decides to turn back and relapse into being a stubborn little man, a toy goes back into the bag for holding. Simple enough.

I am happy to say that after 12 hrs of implementing this new plan, G has earned 2 of his prized toys back and has not had to place any in the bag.

We will see how the next 12 hours go.

Must be something about turning 4. G had speech therapy this morning and when I returned to pick him up, his speech therapist reluctantly informed me that he did not do any work for her today. He was uncooperative, did not listen, and was being silly the entire time. She tried numerous things to motivate him or get him involved, but nothing worked. She thought he might actually wait her out for the 40 mins. Awesome. What a way to make another (therapist) mommy proud. G obeyed like an angel when we left (of course). Upon getting in the car, G and I had a long talk all the way from Muscatine to Tipton about his behavior and my disappointment in his ability to act like the big 4 year old that he is. I told him I was unhappy with his actions, or should I say lack of actions.

I had to take him and L next to a lead testing date, which simply involves the quick prick of the finger for a blood test. No biggie, he’s had it done numerous times before since we live in an older home. He went first and I almost wished I had a straight jacket to assist. Screaming, crying, protesting….nothing worked. He reluctantly picked out a Spiderman sticker when he was through and sulked in the chair. L climbs into my lap, watches the nurse prick her finger and blot the blood. She never cries, winces, or fights. She happily picks out a princess sticker and we go on our way. Complete. Opposites.  For other thoughts on this, see my post Opposites.

After this we were at the library, and knowing that all answers to life are in a book (*note sarcasm*) I promptly checked out “The New Strong Willed Child” by Dr James Dobson  which seems to be written on Christian principles, and “Parenting Preschoolers with a Purpose” by Jolene Roehlkepartain. I love reading parenting books and contemplating different strategies, views, and discussions of the best way to raise a child. Some have been very helpful, some have not. We will see how these read.

G has and always will be a delight of a boy. He is strong willed, to say the least….he sat the other night for 45 minutes refusing to do a single task before going to bed. (Side note: J and I did not give in and he DID complete the task before going to bed. Score Parents:1, G:395.) We have a long way to go with parenting him, but I feel like we have done a decent job so far. He is going to give us a run for our money. My aunt has said since he was born that “He has that twinkle in his eye…”.  I agree. There is something about him that is so fun-loving, lovable, cute and fun to be with, and also something that is so mischevious and hard-headed.

He does enjoy waterslides! (after he decided it was HIS idea)

He does enjoy waterslides! (after he decided it was HIS idea)


I know that some of the his character traits that we struggle to parent will turn out to be great assets to him as a grown individual, if we can teach him how to harness them. We don’t want to change the person that he is or his personality, but to teach him how to channel this into a constructive part of his being.

Easy enough, right?


Super G with his Ironman cake

Super G with his Ironman cake


HA! I’ll let you know how it goes.

-The {growing} Costello’s


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