A few weeks ago, I was out running errands with the munchkins. Chip, as usual, was contentedly cooing to himself in his carseat, keeping himself busy with his binky. Bobo, on the other hand, was in one of those moods. Every five minutes, a new demand was made:
“I want a snack.”
“I want to watch a movie!”
“I don’t like this music; change it Momma!!”
My own patience diminishing rapidly by the moment, I decided to try a fresh approach. “Bobo, I know you want X, but I need you to put on your Patient Hat for just a few minutes until we get to the store.”
This stopped her momentarily in her tracks. “Momma, what’s a Patient Hat? Is it a real hat, or a pretend one?”
The bait was set. “It’s a special pretend hat,” I gushed, feeling a little like the weavers who tried to swindle the emperor. “Look,” I said, pulling the imaginary cap from my pocket and passing it back to her. “We put on our Patient Hat, and it helps us wait until we get to a place where Momma can help us. Try it on!”
Bobo clutched the pretend hat in her little hands, examining the imaginary piece of clothing. Without skipping a beat, she quickly countered back, “I don’t want to wear my Patient Hat. It’s too small for me. Give it to brother instead.”
This evening, I tried the Patient Hat tactic again, this time feeling a bit more prepared. “Bobo, Daddy’s out of town this week, and when we get home I need your help being a good girl while I get Chippy ready for bed. I need you to put on your Patient Hat for me. Can you do that?”
“Sorry, Mom,” she shook her head, feigning disappointment. “I left my Patient Hat at home today.”
“That’s why I grabbed it for you on the way out,” I quickly countered back. I triumphantly pulled the little hat out of the diaper bag and offered it to her. “I even made sure to grab one in your size.” I perhaps said that last line a little too smugly. As usual, my 3-year old was one step ahead of me.
“Mom, I don’t want to wear this Patient Hat,” she pouted, tossing the imaginary cap disdainfully aside.
“Why not?” I asked.
“It’s white, and white is NOT my favorite color.”
I may give the Patient Hat approach another shot, but only if I can find the perfect hat in the right size, color, shape and style for a picky toddler. I make a mental note to myself to look for one on eBay.
While I’m at it, I may try to pick one up for myself. But only if I can find one in size small. That’s blue. And cashmere.