Try, try again

One of my favorite traits about Michael is his strong determination. Coupled with a 2 year old's need to explore his independence and a kid whose brain gets very fixated on specific scripts for how different events must play out, sometimes it feels like he borders on OCD.

Today's simple example was when it was time to leave the museum. Like many kids he always begs for "one last ______" before we can go. But if the "one last _____" doesn't go according to script, there will always be a meltdown until he can go back and do it again correctly. Today it was climbing up on a pole, pulling a rope, climbing down, then running fast down the ramp. On his run down the ramp there was a kid in the way who obstructed his clean line and made him scrub off speed to go around. Clearly, an unacceptable completion. He started having a fit as I tried to get him to put his shoes on, having a visceral need to go "try again" (one of his most repeated phrases). So I grant permission to go back to the top of the ramp and run down again. But, no, he can't just repeat step #4. He must go back through the entire long scenario, from step one, in order for his world to feel right. And it is pretty much always just like that.

Virtually any time he falls or messes up something and gets hurt, he always has to redo it. He never really considers that maybe it was a bad idea in the first place or perhaps out of his little 2-year-old league. Mostly I am proud. But also a little scared.
A good recent example was on yesterday's bike ride (on his little pedal-less Strider bike). He found a steep embankment that he wanted to ride down. It seemed a bit over his head (rather bumpy/weedy and steep), but it was only a couple meters long and I figured it was grass so I let him go at it. Of course, he totally biffed it. He cried for a second and then said through his whines "Michael try again!". So he went for round two. I tried to discretely place the bike at a spot where the embankment is a little shorter. But he is getting too astute for my tricks. He all but scoffed at my attempt to put it at a lower, easier place. Showing what he is made of, he got back on the bike and took it to a spot even higher than the original location.
On round two he almost made it, but ate grass again at the bottom. Fell a little worse this time and got all tangled up with the bike. But had he had enough? Course not. In fact, the very thing that calmed him down was expressing "Michael try again". (Gotta love how he refers to himself in third person.)
On the third attempt he took the bike to an even slightly taller section of the embankment. With zero hesitation he kicked himself off, lifted both his legs into the air and went for it with 100% commitment and an air of gusto. He made it like a pro. I'm fairly certain the owner of Strider Bikes is going to be signing him onto a contract soon.

Andrea J  – (11:04 AM)  

You are the perfect Mom for him, know that for sure when you want to pull your own hair out!

AJ Candrian  – (1:55 PM)  

That's really darling. I love his "no fear" attitude. And that he refers to himself in third person. It's the little things. :)

Joy  – (11:46 AM)  

Good thing I wasn't there. I don't think I'd have the nerve to watch him keep trying and getting hurt. Good thing you're his mother. Love that little boy!

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