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Toddler parenting: if you're yelling, you've lost. If you're asking for sympathy, you've lost. If you're posing a command as a suggestion, it won't happen. And if you're trying to use logic, you're crazy.<br />
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     My younger son, age two and a half, asked for a glass of water as he was sitting on the toilet and we were preparing to take his older brother to school. Wanting to move him forward, I told him he could have a drink as soon as he was done going to the bathroom. At the time, my answer seemed natural and logical.<br />
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     After several minutes of hysterical screaming, it was clear he disagreed.<br />
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     He continued screaming as I carried him downstairs and unsuccessfully tried to give him a glass of water, unsuccessfully tried to get him dressed, and unsuccessfully encouraged him to dress himself. Still screaming and sobbing and naked from the waist down, he grabbed his cup of water, ran back upstairs, scrambled onto the toilet and drank, satisfied at last. He was still upset, but calm enough to pull on his underwear, putting both legs through one hole and wearing it like a belt. He put his pants on backwards. He was in no mood for help, and I was done pointing out the obvious. This is how we went to school, half an hour late, and how he brushed his teeth when we returned home.<br />
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     Initially I marveled at the toddler who clung so tenaciously to such a silly demand. Later I wondered at the mother who did the same.