Before I had kids I had this romanticized vision of what raising them would be like. Sure, I knew they wouldn’t listen at times, and perhaps there would be some back talking. I am the oldest of four children and as I recall, we didn’t always behave. But I figured I had years before this would be an issue. What I didn’t account for was that at 2, my little guy would have a very strong opinion about most things and be willing to go down in flames (aka time out) for what he believes. What I certainly could not have imagined was that his go-to response when asked to do something against his will would be “NEVER!!” Never? We don’t even know where this came from! And his tone? My two year old? Oh, what I had envisioned was “OK mommy” or “Yes ma’am” or perhaps just a pout. But my strong-willed son acts as if he is William Wallace and we are stripping away his freedom!

Brogan is now 3, and despite all of our efforts to deter the use of that word and the punishments that have followed that word, “never” has become the mantra for our son and his independence. We try to remind ourselves that there is a silver lining to this behavior trait – he’s smart, he’ll likely be a leader and not a follower, he won’t be afraid to stand for what he believes in, he won’t let anyone walk all over him. But for now, when I tell him it’s time to stop playing and go to bed and he grits his teeth, squints his eyes, makes two fists and shouts “Never!” I’m going to shake my head and think to myself, really, my child??

Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM! – William Wallace, Braveheart



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