You drive up to Target to have a drink with a friend. You are meeting her and her son there. You get out of the car, and your 3 1/2 year old refuses to get out of the car. You get her out of the car but then she won't walk. You know she wants to be carried, but first she hasn't asked nicely (or at all) and second she needs to start walking. Your back is hurting from carrying her all of the time.You tell her that she needs to walk. She won't.
Your friend and son attempt to help. You get her out of the parking lot. Then she stops. She remembers you said that you would carry her IF she walked to the sidewalk. But wait, she didn't walk. You carried her UPSIDE DOWN to the sidewalk (which was supposed to be a punishment, but instead she laughed hysterically the entire way.) She expects you to carry her into the store.
The friend, her son and you continue to walk. She stands perfectly still, not moving at all. You all go so far as to walk into Target because your friend tells you that she can see the 3 1/2 year old from inside. So you walk into that place between the two doors. You watch her.
A man walks by the child, looks at her strangely but keeps walking.
A woman walks by, she pauses, looks all around. Then walks over to the child. She talks to her, lets assume she asks the child where her mom is. Then the child walks with THE STRANGER into Target.
Aside from the last part, this is a common occurrence in our life right now. Gwennie wants to be carried. I am pretty sure it is partially due to me attachment parenting her as an infant. I am sure it has a little to do with Daddy being gone. I am sure it has a LOT to do with her age. My friend told me that her son did the same thing. She said she often did exactly what we did. Usually when he realized that she wasn't coming, he would freak out and come find her. Not Gwennie.
She will not relinquish power. She is in charge and she knows it. I have no idea how to break her of this habit, and no idea how to make her realize that I can not carry her all of the time. And some days, I haven't the energy to argue, or to carry her.