Posted by Fitzy

The Bean expressed displeasure (read: screamed her head off) when we put her in her high chair starting at about 14 months.  She wanted nothing to do with it, dinnertime was miserable, and we relented.  We brought the booster seat that we kept in the car into the house, and the Bean loved it – it was a big girl chair, and she certainly felt like a big girl.

Fast forward to now, mere days before my Bean’s second birthday, she looks at the once-cool booster seat like it’s yesterday’s news.  She’ll do anything to avoid sitting in it, and wants to sit in a regular kitchen chair like “a big girl mommy”.  This results in a tug of war, a tidal wave of dinnertime anxiety, and probably the least relaxing eating experience that my husband and I have ever experienced.  Because, like any two year old, the Bean doesn’t actually want to SIT in that chair.  She wants to start out sitting, move to her knees, pretend she’s going to stand up because it drives us crazy, gets down to sing us a loud rendition of Baa Baa Black Sheep, lay on the kitchen floor, climb under the table, get back on the chair, and so on and so forth.

It’s exhausting.

We have tried every trick in the book to get her to stay in the chair, and most evenings end up coercing her into the booster seat so we can have a stress-free meal as a family.  It sometimes works, it sometimes doesn’t.  Once she sat still like a little lady the whole time, and once she fell off the chair and onto her head, as if in slow motion. 

I suspect this will be one of many, many assertions of independence that the Bean will show us as she grows more and more into herself; and I expect that our reaction will be the same.  Trying to force her into the thing that she’s just about growing out of, bribing her to stay the way she was, so we can have some peace of mind and not be scared that she’s going to hurt herself somehow.  The older she gets, the more we are certain that this little girl has a mind of her own and isn’t afraid to use it or tell her dear old mom and dad that we’re doing it wrong.  We’ll take it gladly, smiling at her, saving our frustration for a later conversation, and hoping we don’t pick up an ulcer along the way.