Nico and I have a running battle these days.
Nico wants to drive. Yes, like DRIVE THE CAR by himself. He sits in the front seat, asks for the keys, and when I refuse he pushes every switch and button he can possibly find. Wrenching him out of the driver’s seat is nearly impossible. He is a hulk of a 2 year old and you would be shocked at his strength.
I try speaking to him rationally. I tell him that he is welcome to drive in 14 years. I tell him it’s actually illegal and the police are going to arrest him. I tell him he needs to get into his carseat or I’m going to get mad, very mad.
But he just grins at me and turns on the windshield wipers.
I tried the Zen approach several times. I waited him out, pretended I had all the time in the world. I waited for him to be bored with the driver’s seat and say, Okay, let’s go! But no. Even after 45 minutes he was still happy as can be.
It always ends badly.
It ends with me saying, “Okay Nico, you have a choice. You can either get into the backseat by yourself or I’m going to carry you back.” He is silent so I repeat myself. “You. In backseat. Or I come get you.”
He considers this for a moment and then answers in a whisper, “I drive.”
When I grab him he kicks and screams and I pray that no one is in earshot of his wails. I put him in the car seat and he goes as limp as possible, slinks out of my arms and scrambles to get back into the front. I grab him again and put him back in the seat with all my strength. I can feel my blood boiling and I am SO FRUSTRATED that I have to fight him, that even after being patient for 45 minutes, it still ends this way.
I’ve resorted to bribery
But yesterday I did an experiment. I took the coveted gummy vitmains we normally give the kids inside the house and brought them into the car.
“If you want some gummies get into your seat!” Both Ben and Nico scrambled to their seats. They were practically strapped in before I could blink. Worked like a charm! I tried it again when I picked Nico up from school. Score. Slam dunk. That kid was in his seat in 2 seconds flat.
It’s a small thing. But for today (or however many days this lasts) I will not have to wrestle a 2 year old into his car seat. And for me, that is HUGE. And I know it’s bribery, and it’s basically candy, but WHATEVER. Even if it works for one more day it will be worth it.
Just 14 more years Nico. Just 14 more years.