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My 2 ½ year-old daughter Dylan was fishing for treasure in the Diaper Dekor bin.

“Honey, what are you looking for? That’s filled with dirty diapers. Please get your hand out of there and let’s get dressed.” We were late. My daughter was naked.

“I need something,” she explained.

“There’s nothing in there but dirty diapers. Come on. I’ll put a clean one on you.” I tried to keep my voice lighthearted and fun, hoping to convince her of the clean diaper adventure that was just beginning.

“I want to wear the dirty one you just took off,” she said with growing determination.

“No, it’s filled with pee. We can’t do that. Let’s go.”

As I was putting my other daughter Presley in the stroller, Dylan pulled her used, heavy diaper out of the bin and managed to put it back on. I looked at my watch and wondered if it was worth going to battle over this diaper.

It seems like parents have a million moments like these. And there is always a fine line between a zen approach to motherhood and being steam rolled by these little opinionated people. But most of the time, I try to just let things go.

The other night at dinner, Dylan was cutting her chicken with her kid-friendly scissors – perhaps not the most optimal way to cut up chicken but I must admit she was showing a certain craftsmanship for the art of poultry slicing. Given that she was also eating the food, I didn’t really mind. This morning Dylan was sweeping the walls with our swifter. I asked her to please avoid the picture frames and she happily continued on with her mission to keep our walls dust free. And last week, while sitting in the stroller, Dylan covered her entire face with lip gloss. Once again, in my “I’m really an A-type personality but I’m masquerading as a free spirit so I can have some quiet during this stroller ride,” I just ignored the beauty make over until she asked for a wipe.

I now try to save my real “no’s” for when Dylan could potentially harm herself or her sister or cause permanent damage to our home. So the day of the dirty diaper was no different. I just threw a dress over my daughter’s head (which of course she removed and put on again by herself) and then she got into the stroller without upset. I’m so zen (well, for a moment anyway).

5 Responses to your way or the hard way

  • Daphne says:

    Mazel Tov Kelc! I'm so proud of you. It seems like only yesterday that you were asking (with barely hidden disdain) WHY on earth I would let my 2 1/2 year old out in public in such outfits. Doesn't take long at all to start thinking that actually, yes, stripes this way and stripes that way are, after all, just stripes.

  • Kristen says:

    You are so wise (so is Daphne!) I appreciate your wisdom on letting things go. I am not always very good at it. I know I need to let Isabelle have things her way more. Again, I appreciate your encouragement! If I say, "stripes are just stripes" three times daily maybe I will start to let go or at least I will try to think about letting go.

  • francine Kasen says:

    A view from the future:My jenny was such a stubborn 2 1/2 year old that if I was in a hurry and picked her up to carry her downstairs, she would wiggle out of my arms at the bottom of the steps and climb back UP the steps, so she could go down them HERSELF. Stubborn (free-thinking) is not a bad thing for a girl to be. She is now a stubborn 23 year old who still knows her own mind, and STILL can't be talked into doing something she doesn't want to. How great is that??!!

  • Allison Teweles says:

    Although I started off reading you blog thinking, "Ah, what a great mom-centric blog. I can totally relate and she totally gets me!" I still think that, but I'm also glad to report that I've been emailing the recent posts to my husband (starting with the MILF post!!). It's nice to have your stories that show him other people have these situations and choose to "let it go," even when they really don't want to! Love it!

  • Jordana Bales says:

    As I sit, reading your latest entry, Ava, has taken every one of the 64 crayons out of the box, and is systematically removing all the shoes from my closet creating a delightful crayon/shoe melange. Part of me shudders with the expectation of cleaning it up (or even worse trying to "help" her clean it up) – the other part relishes in the 3.5 seconds of quiet. I can relate! PS: "a certain craftsmanship for the art of poultry slicing" as a granddaughter of a butcher – I really appreciated this image!

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kelcey kintner