"Why?" "Why?" "Why?" A phrase I have been hearing a lot of lately. I try my best to always answer these questions with reason, but honestly, sometimes it's just exhausting. It's my job as a parent to teach my kids the ways of the world and to teach them right from wrong. It's also my job to keep them safe. When these things collide though, watch out world!
Just this week I took my kids out to get new shoes. I was on the hunt for hot pink Crocs. Lanie had them last year and was disappointed that they no longer fit. She got great use out of them, so I was eager to get her another pair. She was very set on pink, so before heading out I called around to a few different places to make sure they had some in stock. I was stunned at how much the prices went up on these tiny pieces of rubber. They were ranging anywhere from $24-40! Let's face it, I'm a stay at home mom with zero income, if I can get a good deal on something . . . I'll find it, so off we went.
"C'mon kids, we're going to Marshall's!" (For those unfamiliar with Marshall's it's a discounted department store with name brands). As we approached the shoe department it was very clear that my oldest was in her glory. She intensely grazed the isles repeating the words "Oh, these are so cute!" "I love these!" As I'm walking behind her pushing my youngest in the stroller, I'm trying to replace all the shoes that she has taken off the racks and has placed on the top of the stroller with the intent of me buying. And there they were, right before her eyes, a single pair of zebra print rain boots, 4 sizes too big. She instantly sat down on the ground and whipped her shoes off and attempted to put these bad boys on. She succeeded, and they were up to her thighs. She could not walk, but instead stumbled over to me falling several times. "These are the Crocs I want." Yeah . . . try explaining to my kid that we came out to buy pink Crocs, not animal print rain boots that don't fit . . . here's her response. "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" I tried to explain to her that she couldn't walk in them, they were not her size and she was really going to hurt herself if she kept trying. I also said that they are not what we came out to get. TEMPER TANTRUM. At this point, I really just wanted to make a sign and hold it up to all the other shoppers in the shoe department, no actually, the whole store that read something like BEWARE WILD ANIMAL ON THE LOOSE. Instead, after 10 minutes of "reasoning", I chose to scoop my child up kicking and screaming and said "Because I said so, that's why."
I found myself in a similar situation today. We went out for a walk around the neighborhood. Usually my oldest likes to help me push my youngest in the stroller. Today she wanted to walk on her own. We live in a very quiet neighborhood so I didn't see anything wrong with giving her a little freedom to walk beside me. She did great until it came time to cross the street. I insisted she hold my hand. I told her I am the parent, I make the rules, she needs to listen to my words, and it's my job to keep her safe. "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" I really just wanted to say "Do you want to get squished by a car?", I chose not to, I said . . . "Because I said so, that's why."
There is plenty of time in life to make your own choices. Some of which will be right and others, well, not so right. I'm hoping my kids listen to my advice well past 18. I can't wait til the day one of them asks for a tattoo . . . I can show them first hand. "See this alligator tattoo on mommy's stomach? Well it used to be a tiny lizard . . . then I had kids." Always listen to your mother! Why? Because I said so . . .
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