Out of Control

On Friday, I wrote about our tendency, as parents, to overvalue our impact on our kids.

We wring our hands over every little thing we do wrong, terrified that the slightest misstep will set our kids on the wrong path. But once you consider how many other influences are out there, you realize that such micromanagement – of our parenting, of their lives – is impossible.

I can’t get my son to do the littlest things right now, why should I think I have the power to get him to do big things when he’s older? I’m all out of control.

Here’s a collection of things I can’t get my kid to do, at the supposedly impressionable age of four.

Things I Can’t Get My Kid to Do

  • eat dinner
  • stop watching TV
  • put away his toys
  • stop whining
  • eat his food
  • stop throwing his food
  • take his shoes off
  • stop running in the house
  • put his shoes on
  • stop eating his boogers
  • brush his teeth
  • stop singing songs from Frozen
  • like good music
  • stop singing songs from “Octonauts”
  • actually,go ahead and sing that “Creature Report” song again, it’s awesome!
  • stop using potty talk
  • use an inside voice
  • stop taking off band-aids
  • share
  • stop putting on band-aids
  • stand up to pee
  • stop jumping on me
  • wash his hands after peeing
  • stop locking doors
  • root for the Red Sox
  • stop hitting
  • say hi when we FaceTime Grandma
  • stop collapsing to the ground in dramatics
  • sit still when we FaceTime Grandma
  • stop talking for five minutes
  • sit still EVER
  • stop talking for two minutes
  • let me clip his fingernails
  • stop talking for one minute
  • get in the bath
  • maybe just take one long deep breath?
  • stop driving me to drink
  • at least make me a drink?
  • get out of the bath
  • stop asking for snacks
  • put some pants on
  • stop taking his pants off
  • wait, good idea, now put the pants I just took off in the hamper

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