Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who Knew Three-Year-Olds Wore Gauntlets?

Before I had kids, I was advised by my elders, “Choose your battles. If you try to fight every little issue with your kids, you’ll go crazy. Decide what issues are really important, and which ones can slide.”

Well, my battle lines are drawn. Here’s what I’m currently not fighting. Go ahead, JUDGE!

My children can eat food they find on the floor.

I can only vacuum so often, and we don’t have a dog. If one of my rugrats finds an errant Cheerio, and eats it before I have a chance to step on it and grind it into the carpet, more power to them.

If it’s whole-grain, my kids can eat it at breakfast.

There isn’t that much difference in my book between whole-grain goldfish and a Cheerio.

TV is A-Ok in my home.

We go WAY over the recommended 2-hour limit. On a good day, we watch around 4 hours a day (assuming we are not away from home entirely.) Don’t get me started on the bad days. But my kids are smart, polite, imaginative, and they play well on their own and with others. I’ve let this one go.

That being said....

I’m still learning to choose my battles.

Do I dole out snacks on demand so long as the child says "please," or do I yell, “NO! WAIT FOR SNACKTIME!”

We keep a laundry basket in our living room (don’t ask). The kids will not leave it alone when it’s on the floor. I don’t want the laundry basket to be a permanent fixture on my sideboard, right next to the photo of Great-Aunt Edith. Do I punish the kids every time they empty the laundry basket, or do I just say f--- it?

So far I'm aided by the fact that most of my “battles” involve food, and because children under the age of 3 only possess rudimentary skills of logic and debate. This will not always be the case.

But I'm choosing not to fight that battle at this time.