Posted by: Jamie Stamm | July 11, 2008

Arguing with a 2-year-old

When we were younger, my mom used to explain the differences between my siblings and I in this way:

“If you tell Jamie (that’s me) that the sky is blue, she’ll ask, ‘Why?’

“If you tell Steve (my younger brother) that the sky is blue, he’ll say, ‘OK.’

“If you tell Katie (the baby of the family) that the sky is blue, she’ll say, ‘No it’s not.'”

Jerry and I somehow missed out on a Steve, who is by far the most laid back of us siblings, but we have a Jamie in Cera, who asks so many questions it’s sometimes hard to believe, and a Katie in Anthony, who loves to disagree. And as his vocabulary is increasing, so, it seems, is his penchant for arguing.

Take for example, this conversation that occurred as I was putting him to bed tonight:

Me: “Anthony, it’s time to sleep. Please lie down.”

Him: “You lie down.”

Me: “I am lying down.” (Clearly, I am lying on the bed – right beside him.)

Him: “No you not.”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Him: “No you not.”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Him: “No you not.”

If I were another child (especially his sister), this argument could have continued for hours, if not days. But I am his mom, and therefore smart enough to just stop playing the game.

And the other day, I even got a leg up in an argument – by pulling an old Bugs Bunny move. You remember – the episodes where Bugs and Yosemite Sam would get into a disagreement and Bugs would trick Sam into switching sides?

I don’t even remember what Anthony and I were arguing about, but it went something like this:

(About one minute in)

Him: “No you not.” (Can you tell this is his favorite phrase?)

Me: “Yes I am.”

Him: “No you not.”

Me: “No you not.”

Him: “Yes I am.”

He paused for a second, confused, and then … stopped arguing.

I’ve tried the Bug Bunny method on several occasions since, but it just took that one time for him to catch on.

I’d tell you that Anthony is a pretty smart kid.

But I’m sure he’d have this to add:

“No I not.”



  1. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog but this post made me crack up. My son, who is 4, is an expert negotiater….so I totally know what you’re going through!!

    Thanks for the afternoon laugh!

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