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Don't even think about arguing with
this one. You can't win!
Don't even think about arguing with
this one. You can't win!

Don't Argue With A 2-Year Old

448 words


What is the REAL rule?
by Dianne Roth


Since my first granddaughter was old enough to communicate with words, she has jumped at every opportunity to argue with her older brother. Much of this comes from her deep affection and connection to him, but it also feeds her need for attention when he takes the bait and argues back. It sounds a lot like this:

Two-year-old, pointing, “… a cow!”

Six-year-old, disgusted, “That’s not a cow, that’s a horse.”

Two-year-old, screaming, “No! A cow!”

Six-year-old, offended by her 2-year-old ignorance, “It’s a horse. Gram, tell her it’s a horse. It’s not a cow!”

And on and on and on …

Anyone listening would know that, generally, he is right. But, being right when arguing with a 2-year-old does not carry much honor. Rather, it shows his middle-child need to grab stature. Unfortunately, he gets in trouble for arguing with her, which he cannot understand.

I say, “Don’t argue with a 2-year-old. You can’t win.”

“But, she’s wrong!” he appeals.

“I know,” (shrug), “but … don’t argue with a 2-year-old.”

After a year, it became, “Don’t argue with a 3-year-old. You can’t win.”

Of course, she doesn’t help things when, with hands on her hips, she demands, “Don’t argue with a 3-year-old!” He becomes hysterical. I chuckle.

One day I said, “Don’t argue with a 4-year-old. You can’t win.”

Tired of hearing my mantra, he yelled from the back seat of my car, “Grandma! Don’t argue with a 90-year-old! You can’t win!”

At which, I belly laughed, thinking about my 89-year-old father. I said, “You are right! What do you think the rule really is?”

Epilogue No. 1: Last week, the four-year-old was sitting in the back seat of my car singing to herself, “Don’t argue with a 1-year-old, a 1-year-old, a 1-year-old.

Don’t argue with a 2-year-old, a 2-year-old, a 2-year-old.

Don’t argue with a 3-year-old ... etc.”

I told her older brothers about her song. One of them asked, “How many verses are there?”

I thought for a moment and replied, “Oh, about a hundred.” We laughed. They know what the rule really is.

Epilogue No. 2: The latest argument prompted me to point at her and say, “Don’t argue with an 8- year-old!” They both were shocked that the finger wasn’t pointed at him. I loved seeing the look of pure satisfaction on his face. At last, vindicated.

So, my friends, what is the rule? My grandchildren know, and if you figure it out, pass it on!

Dianne Roth is a teacher, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. She lives in Corvallis. Reach her at baglady@cmug.com



Dianne Roth is a teacher, mother, grandmother, and freelance writer. She lives in Oregon.




Last updated on September 22, 2013