Monday, April 11, 2011

the end of control

If I were ever under the delusion that I had any control whatsoever in my life, it's long gone now. Parenthood has effectively knocked it out of me. I know there are mothers who have managed to maintain some semblance of control, and heaven knows I come from a long line of tidy Danes who seemed to pull it off (my great-grandmother used to pin the sheets to the bedcovers at night so they stayed just so while she slept. Honestly). But me? Not so much. I've clung to bits and pieces of control, but overall, I think I'm in a losing battle.

Take beds, for example. The kids are supposed to make their beds. Mostly, they don't make their beds. I'll remind them about it, and for a day or two they remember and cheerfully make their beds. But then we're right back to crumpled beds. Of course, it takes me a week or two to remind them again, because I'm so busy reminding them to brush their teeth. And put away their dishes. And keep choke-ables off the floor. And be nice.

And then there is homework and fresh air and orange juice on the floor and diapers and dinner.

Is it even possible to keep all of this stuff moving in a semi-coherent direction?

I have drawn a few lines in the proverbial sand. For example, they have to wear clothing outside in the winter. Coats are optional; shoes recommended. But something must be worn. Outside of these strictures, however, is an ever increasing amount of leeway. Like the girls' hair (as evidenced above). And socks.

My husband is actually quite impressed that many of our kids prefer mismatched socks. "I mean, I didn't start doing that until Junior High," he says. Fashion prodigies, all around.


  1. Allyson, I have always kind of considered you my parenting hero, and this just knocked it out of the park. Seriously. Control is overrated... right? :)

  2. (knocked it out of the park in a good way... like a homerun... not in a "never mind" kind of way. just to clarify without actually being terribly clear.)

  3. knocked it out is a compliment on all levels. and right back at you, I might add. control is overrated . . . especially by me sometimes (unfortunately). I know it's gone, but sometimes I'd just really like a little of it back . . .