My husband and I had lots of experience with teens before we actually had kids. I know. And we had them anyway. We are
insane saints. And we swore that we will not sweat the small stuff as our kids began to assert their individuality. We were determined not to get caught up in power struggles over clothing (as long as it’s appropriate) and hairstyles.
We’ve done pretty well, I think. For an entire year, we endured being in public with a child who insisted on wearing all clothing backwards. We figured if the kid was willing to put the clothing on without assistance, it didn’t matter what direction they faced. And it made things interesting. People were never sure if he was coming or going. We went through a ruby-slipper phase that lasted through three sizes, but who doesn’t like sparklies, right? Even if they clash with her Easter dress. We braved the purple-jean-red-shirt-green-shoes phase. And aslong as rips in jeans don’t offer a lesson in human anatomy, it’s all good. Our kids just don’t realize how lucky they are.
We’ve hit a couple of snags along the way because we’re not perfect. We vetoed a “padawan braid.” (Sorry, son. That’s a rat-tail, and it was never cool. Ask your uncle).
Thanks for the photo, Wiki! Hmm. Maybe I should reconsider. That rat-tail is really something.
And we nixed (not nits, NIX!) the professional color-job (you come up with the $120 to have it done, and we’ll talk). But we’ve done pretty well.
And now we’re at the next round, and I am not sure how this one will end. It’s killing me. I know that when we go out in public, we’re going to get some strange looks, and probably draw critical comments from people we don’t even know. When you see my kid, you may judge me.
GAH! Socks and sandals! IN THE SUMMER! People will think he’s not brought up right!
And now you have seen. Do you still love me?
There are days when I would sell him to the circus, and look. He's ready. And before anyone calls DCS, it's a stuffed gator.
In the last couple of weeks, Squish has taken toddler-itis to whole new levels. I find myself looking at this little dude and asking “Who are you, pod person, and where is my Squish?” It has been a struggle to, as the experts say, find his currency. Unless that currency is small unmarked bills, which is about the only thing I hadn’t tried. Until yesterday. They were a gift from God, or at least from one of the kids in the youth group at church. Yellow jellybeans. And they are magic beans.
I have mentioned before that no one beats Squish at savoring treats. He keeps them as a pet. Today, he carried around his little bag of lemon beans for several hours. Oh, the power! All that was required to nip the naughtiness in the bud were the words “Do I need to take your jellybeans until you can make better choices?” I could have asked the kid to walk across fire, and he would have. As long as jellybeans were waiting on the other side.
The treats worked so well that I want to buy more, but I know it’s a slippery slope. If I let the bean habit continue, where does it end? I can hear the conversation now:
Squish: Mom, I just got expelled from the university for a hazing prank.
Me: That’s it, son. I am taking your jellybeans back until you untangle that kid’s underpants from the flagpole and let him down.
But for now I’m so tempted to stick with the beans. At least until after Easter.