Thursday, May 19, 2011

Picking Battles

I remember being a kid. I ran around outside all day long, playing with siblings, neighbors, random stray cats, chased the ice cream truck, and the candy truck (that no doubt moonlighted as a drug mobile), and generally had a great time, all the time, and had few cares or worries (except for my belief that every stranger was a kidnapper-witch that was going to eat/murder me...ask me about that sometime...).

Now, the few times I was actually in the house, I played with barbies, filled zip-lock bags with warm water for my barbies' water beds, gave them hair cuts, played with Emily, and stuffed animals (who were members of Depesh Mode and married our barbies, after having illegitimate children with was more like "One Life to Live" than "Home-maker Barbies."), and our cats, ate random medicine from Mom's first aid kit, and chips, made myself sandwiches, "stole" cheerios and chocolate chips from the pantry (because Emily and I thought it was extra fancy to eat those together), drank water from my empty tic-tac containers, recorded myself on a tape player while I made toad noises in the get the idea. I had a pretty mellow existence.

I didn't get in trouble often. Because Dad was scary, and he WOULD chase you down to give you a spanking.

And I really didn't like being grounded, either (which, now that I think about it, DID happen quiet a bit...).

And from what my older siblings tell me, I had it super easy (which I can't say I agree with, but I won't say that to their faces, but will on my blog, because it's my blog, and I don't have to justify my feelings at all,'s my blog.).

I think what they MEANT was that Mom and Dad learned to pick their battles with their kids.

And, since Mom and Dad had decided by the time I came around that most battles with kids are a total waste of time, energy, money, breath, brain-power, etc., you'd think that I would be some kind of laid-back parent type.

I'm not.

I'm a totally crazy, anal-retentive, control-freak, red-eyed Mama Of Doom.

How do you learn to pick battles???

Does it just happen over time?

Do you just get worn down??

Is it a bigger perspective kind of thing???

Because I remember jumping on the couches, and building forts with blankets and chairs, and going down the stairs in a cardboard box, and tormenting the cats, and making giant messes all over the place, and eating whatever I wanted from the fridge, and pantry, and from Mom's secret candy drawer, and even THROWING a giant water balloon down the stairs and NEVER getting in trouble (Wait...I did get in trouble for that one.).

I had FUN, and I like to think I grew up to be a normal person (except that I do, at times, think that my closest friends are conspiring to kidnap my children to murder/eat them...).

So why can't I let my kids just be kids?

Why can't I let my kids carry Lily around in a make-shift hammock made out of a blanket?

Why can't I let them destroy the playroom without feeling like I want to throw every toy in the trash?

Why can't I let them explore their imaginations, even if it means destroying my perfectly sanitized clean house??

Why??? WHY???!!!

I think that the solution lies in investing in a fence. So I can just throw them outside and not worry about the kidnapping witches while I figure this out.

Hmmm...Maybe that's why Mom and Dad had me play outside so much...


Doodle On Yoo said...

AMEN! I'm the exact same way! Some battles really are pointless and it takes more energy to argue than find a solution. I can't stand the fact that Nate argues with the kids at dinner. "Eat it Evelynn!" "Take a bite or go to bed!" and so on....I'd rather they pick at their food and starve so we could at least have 20 minutes of peace! But they need to eat so we fight with them. We no longer require they finish every bite, but eat at least half of their plate. Compromise! It helps the battles without a complete surrender on either side. :)

Katscratchme said...

I'd like to think that the only reason I'm a control-freak mama is because I'm not living in MY house and I don't want to be responsible for my children destroying someone else's stuff.
I guess I'll put that theory to the test after Ben graduates and we gallivant off to Wherever...

Rebecca said...

there comes a point when you can reason with your kids. I don't argue with my kids at all.

I have taught my children correct principles. I have to remind them from time to time. I also remind them that I expect them to govern themselves.

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