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There's something exhilarating about a good, old-fashioned battle of the wills between myself and my daughter. Partly, I think, because we're very well-matched in this area. She is a worthy opponent. An expert at holding her ground.

But guess what, little one, so am I. Not all the time, mind you. Just when I feel like it. Eliza's the exact same way. Most of the time she does what I tell her. She's a very good girl. But when it comes to certain things, such as SLEEPING, this kid does not back down. She's incredible. I can't help but be impressed. We've let her cry it out longer than I was comfortable with and she was still going strong.

Early on I would get frustrated with her. There was door slamming and stuffed animal throwing. But then one day I realized it's just a competition. A competition in something I'm excellent at: Getting my way. This gave me renewed confidence.

However, I've never had such a challenging opponent. I'm an only child and I got my way quite a bit growing up. Not because my mother spoiled me, but because there just weren't any other kids around to protest my desires. Then I married this wonderful man who loves me so much that he's happy to go along with whatever I want (sort of). But then this child entered my life, somehow born an expert in getting her way.

So I learned to pick my battles. If I fought with her on everything it would be too much. But every so often, when I'm feeling spunky, we go at it. I stand my ground, she stands hers. Hours go by. There's crying. There's screaming. There's giggling and "I know I'm so cute you're going to give in" smiles. Then more crying. And finally, a winner emerges.

And guess who today's winner is. The one who's not currently asleep in her crib, that's who.

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Tags: parenting, toddlers

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