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Allow me to introduce you to what "Defiance" would look like if it took human form.

July18 018


She looks so cute and sweet and completely innocent but, frankly, Mila cab be a jerk. She has random moments of doing exactly the opposite of whatever it is that you need her to do and she does it with conviction. There are no words that can accurately describe how strong-willed the girl is, but let's just say LOOK OUT, WORLD. She's going to be a force when she's an adult.

She was a force on Saturday. Alexis had a dance class which we chased with lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Said Mexican restaurant was chosen because the girls love it and generally are so happy to have open access to queso that they're cooperative and stuff.


Mila threw a lemon on the floor. She smeared her hands all over the window. She licked the queso out of the bowl. She hit her sister. She refused to sit in her chair. She ran around the restaurant. Literally. She literally started running laps around the restaurant.

And I sat there and did nothing but stare at my phone, up until she became a nuisance to other people, at which point she and I took a walk to the restroom and had a Very Serious Talk.

There was a point in there when it occurred to me how that looked, which is why I want to point out a little secret - reacting, in some cases, is reinforcing. Mila acts a fool because she thinks it's funny to watch me get wound up. She finds it positively hilarious when I chase her in public spaces. If I fuss at her for hitting, she'll fall over laughing and then do it again. She does all of those things specifically to get a reaction out of me.

So I deprive her of that reaction.

Depriving her of a reaction limits the defiance to about 5 minutes. Maybe less. It's 5 minutes of people judging me and judging her but whatever. Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do.

Just, you know, next time you see a mom staring at her phone while her kid is acting a fool, know that maybe it's by design. Maybe it's the mom doing the best she can to parent that kid the way that kid needs to be parented at that moment.

Or maybe that's not what's happening.

It doesn't really matter, does it?

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