Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's the Time of Year for a One House Open Sleigh

As a mother, I pick my battles.  Some things are worth arguing about and some are just not.  My test:  is it something they're going to do eventually anyway?  Don't sweat it.  Is it something they're not going to learn naturally?  That's where I put my effort.

So:  We are big on sitting down to a family dinner every night.  I insisted that my toddler sit at the table and learn manners that make her a pleasant dining companion.  After all, it's not uncommon for me to spend unpleasant time dining in company with adults who talk with food in their mouths, chew with their mouths open, don't use a get the idea.  Ick.

On the other hand:  There was a period of almost a year when she was 3 that Gem insisted on wearing her shoes on the wrong feet.  Everywhere we went, people would say, "What an adorable little girl!"  and then whisper aside to me (as if I didn't know about it) "You know her shoes are on the wrong feet, Honey."  I would just smile wearily, "Yes.  That's how she likes it."  But honestly, I don't know any grown person who wears their shoes on the wrong feet, so I decided not to care.  (It may be a relief to you to know that this problem did resolve itself.)

Like all little kids, Gem would mix up words on a regular basis.  I am a teacher.  An early childhood person.  A reading specialist even.  But how I cherished those adorable mistakes!  I confess I often did not correct them.  

Once we were in a public place and my 2-year-old decided to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the top of her lungs with a special flourish at "the bombs burping in air."  She insisted that "Jingle Bells" were "on a one house open sleigh."  And the Little Star twinkled "like a diamond ring in the sky."  

There was a little song I used to sing, "The red light says to stop.  The green light says to go.  And in between the yellow light says, 'Caution, now go slow.'"  That ended up as "And beenatween the yellow light says, 'Carwash, now go slow."

Makes perfect sense to me.


  1. I'll take lessons from you for sure. I think the kids win most of the battles because I don't always make sense of what is worth it and what is not.

    Love the 2 year old singing at the top of her lungs...and of all things, the Star Spangled Banner, lol.

  2. That's sweet, Salma. I think one of our issues is the same. "Disney Dad" who is just a leetle bit more indulgent with the kiddos than we are. (OK, a alot)

  3. This is a lesson I'm learning and having to remind myself in regards to picking my battles. V wants to dress herself, sure. I don't have to stress about the tantrum she'll throw if I do it for her. She'll put the clothes on that I pick, but she'll put them on inside out. *shrugs*

    I love this post :)

    Stay warm :)

  4. Collette -- so what if she's wearing yellow plaid shorts with a red long-sleeved sweater? And blue tights? And wings and a crown? I promise you that she will develop a nice sense of style when she gets older. And thanks -- it's pretty nippy around here today, isn't it?

  5. Beautifully said and a wonderful reminder! I used to be far less picky when I was a young mother as opposed to now (11 years later!). Thanks for the reassurance; they really DO turn out alright in the end. ;-)

  6. Yes, rest your mind, Umm Aami. But you have two teen boys who are doing well, so you already knew that. Bless your heart.


Tell me about it. What's on your mind?