"If you hold my hand across the street, I'll let it go when we reach the sidewalk," I say.
"No," she says.
"Yes," I say.
We go back and forth like this until I get tired of arguing, pick her up instead and carry her across, (screaming!) to the other side.
Back on the sidewalk, I put her down, let go of her hand. Together, we walk on... until we reach the street again with its cars whizzing by and its pot holes still wet from the rain. Our battle continues.
"Mine!" she says, pulling her hand away.
"Hold mine!" I say back.
Block after block, this is our dance. Even without the streets and the sidewalks and the cars running stop signs. A harmony of yeses and nos. Of holding on and letting go and celebrating her strong-will while at the same time trying to overpower it. Because she doesn't make the rules even though I support her for trying.
"Hold my hand across the street and you can let it go when we reach the sidewalk," I remind her.
"Okay," she finally says and takes my hand. Only to let it go halfway across the street.
I pick her up....
.... And put her down on the curb of the sidewalk.