Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Choosing our Battles

Everyone who is in the throws of parenting a preschooler will tell you, choose your battles carefully!

I know this rule well.  My 3 oldest children have given me MUCH practice in choosing battles, what's worth fighting for and what's not.  

But the whole choose-your-battles deal takes on a whole new level of importance with a newly adopted 3 year old child!  Oh, yes it does!!

For example, my 6 year old daughter was distraught last night because our new 3 year old was flushing the toilet when nobody had actually used it!  An extraneous flush, if you will.  "She's wasting water!!!!" my older daughter insisted to me all upset and bothered, pointing at her new little sister.

Right now, the extraneous flush is not at all on my radar screen as far as issues to correct with our new child, so I told my 6 year old, "Well, when she speaks English you can explain to her the whole part about wasting water."

Now, when my little 3 year old refused to be buckled into her car seat earlier today, well that was a battle we had to fight, it was an obvious one being a safety issue.

But, yesterday I had a grey-area battle, I had to make a grocery-store run, all the other kids were at school so it was just my 3 year old and me, she loved riding in the luggage cart at the airport, so the grocery cart should be a hit making the grocery store a doable thing and it was, except little girl rifled through her big sister's dresser drawers and dressed herself for the day before I could give her the usual 2 Mommy-approved choices she could pick between.

I emerged from the closet where I'd been looking for outfit choices and my 3 year old had on her big sister's pink sparkly gymnastics leotard and some yellow striped leggings!  Then to top off the ensemble, she had a woven belt that she insisted I tie around her head!

All I could think was, "Oh sweet mercy, I've taken some interesting outfits to the grocery store with me in my 9 years of parenting small children, but nothing quite like this!  I can't take you to HEB dressed like that!  And besides it's cold outside!"

Of course she understood nothing of my objections, aside from her belief that the outfit was rockin', there is the whole language barrier, too!  So, I had to scramble to find an acceptable outfit that I could talk her into.  I knew it had to be something she hadn't already seen in her 2 weeks with us, so I frantically dug through a bin of my older daughters old clothes and found some polka dot tights with a satin pink skirt I thought might just be fancy enough to spark my 3 year old's attention -- it worked!  

However, I had a plain long sleeve t-shirt with a cardigan sweater picked out for the top half and she balked at the plain t-shirt, wanting instead to just go straight to the sweater.  But, it was a sweater that really needed a shirt under to look right and it was kinda scratchy.  I tried my best to pantomime "scratchy", rubbing my tummy and making a frowny face.  It didn't work.  I showed her the sweater over the shirt on the hanger.  It didn't work.  So, I let it go.

And you know what?  Little girl put on that sweater without a shirt under, frowned a bit and took it off and let me put on the shirt underneath!

Ha!  I WIN!!!

AND we got tons of compliments on her outfit yesterday!  I resisted the urge to point out, "See, Mommy, can pick out a good outfit!"

Now if I can just win about 15 more years of clothing battles with her!


  1. Haha, I don't think the original outift was that bad. My daughter consistently wears a bathing suit top (technically it's a rash guard) everywhere we go (actually it's finally cold enough that she wears other clothes, but the rash guard was a long phase). But way to go on the WIN. I love that the scratchy sweater spoke for itself, no language barrier there.;-)

  2. Having just adopted a 3 year old nine months ago I know this pain. Extraneous flushes would be last on my list too. LOL!

  3. You are funny! I can only imagine the fun and challenges of guiding her to good choices. :)

  4. we had the clothing issue too.....prolly the worst of all of our issues. it lasted wayyyy too long for me. i started throwing down two outfits and telling her to pick. she would head to the closet and i would say, NO...pick. and she would. not always with a happy face but she wouldn't complain. she was a smarty pants even if she didn't speak english! :0) good job mama!


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