The other morning I heard Annabel on the baby monitor chattering away in her crib.
I love to hear her talking to herself when no one else is around. “Mommy Daddy Daddy Mommy,” she said in a sing-song voice.
I went into her bedroom with a big smile on my face, ready to greet her for the day.
“Hi sweetie! Good morning!” I said exuberantly.
“Hi Mom. I’m poopin’. Come back later,” my two-year old calmly replied.
I laughed, thinking she was being silly, and tried to pick her up out of the crib.
Instead, she looked at me seriously and said firmly, but politely, once more, “I’m poopin’. Come back.”
Well she told me. Apparently “poopin’” in one’s pants is serious business. But as I stood outside her door I thought to myself, “Here is a gal to knows how to ask for what she wants.”
I admire her assertiveness at two years of age. I am glad that my daughter is self-confident.
My little Annabel taught me something. Granted, the lesson was learned through pooping, but it was a lesson learned nonetheless.
People will still respect you when you are firm, but polite, and ask for what you want and need. It's not necessary to always be a people-pleaser. Like me.
I thought of Annabel later that day when I was making dinner and the phone rang. It was the Tru-Green guy calling to talk to me about the health of my lawn. He wanted to discuss nitrogen levels and weed control. Sorry, don’t care buddy. I pay you to make my lawn grow, and keep it green and weed-free. Other than that, it’s all blah, blah, blah.
But instead I stood there and politely listened to his spiel while I absentmindedly stirred my pasta, and my eyes glazed over. I should have told him I was busy, but instead, I let him continue. I wanted to be nice.
Maybe I should have taken a page out of Annabel’s playbook and said, “Sorry, I’m poopin’. Call back later.”
That would’ve really gotten rid of the guy.
Maybe next time. Hey, a gal can dream, can't she?