Yesterday I had to revise and send a document to my dear husband by e-mail. When I need to be on the computer, I usually require that the kids stay upstairs until I'm done. My computer sits in a small, open area in the hallway of the second floor of our home and I figure that from here I at least have a chance of hearing them get into trouble if they are on the same level. But before I was finished Oliver started down the steps and the following conversation took place:
"Stay upstairs, please."
"No," he said looking right at me.
"Upstairs, please. I'm almost done."
"Oliver. Upstairs, please."
"No. I want the blocks."
This last was said with an impish grin on his face. And soon he was joined by Sami, who shouted out: "No, Mom!" while literally raising his fist in the air. He was so delighted by Oliver instigating a bit of anarchy.
So what else could I do? I let them go downstairs.
It took me a minute to realize what happened. Oliver has always been able to say "No." But this time was much different. He wasn't upset. I wasn't asking a yes/no question. He was asserting himself -- standing up to me -- in a calm way that was so very different from the "No, no, no, no, no" way that usually happens when I'm trying to get him to do something that he doesn't want to do.
There has been lots of language lately. Most of it has been instrumental -- Oliver expressing his wants and desires (I want to go inside. I want to go outside. I want to go down the slide. I want to run. I want in the bathtub) but I can't help but feel that little by little the doors to communication are opening. And in the meantime, what household can't benefit from a bit of anarchy now and then?