We are on our way to the laundry room. The girl lingers at the door, clearly ready to make a bolt for the playground.
"Come," I call. "Come with me to the laundry room."
"I don't want to," she replies and runs off to the playground.
Naturally this is unacceptable behavior. Blatant disregard for directions usually is. There are consequences for such things.
A few minutes later we are talking about it.
"I said come, you didn't come, you chose to disobey."
"But mommy," she argues tearfully, "I told you I didn't want to."
Let's try this again.
"When I say to do something it's your job to do it, even if you don't want to. That's what it means to obey. You do it because I said so, not because you want to. After you obey you have the choice to ask if you may do something else."
That's pretty clear, right?
"But I didn't want to, I told you I didn't want to before I ran away."
As if that makes it all better.
I think she really expects me to say, "Oh sweetie, I didn't know you didn't want to. Well that changes things then. You feel free to run off and do whatever you want whenever you feel like it."
Obviously she hasn't understood a word I have said in the past 6 years of her life.
I guess I have my work cut out for me.