Not an Option

“How about We are the Champions?” he asks.

“Loch, I’m a little tired of listening to Queen. Is there something else you’d like to hear?” I say, glancing at him in the rearview mirror.

“How about Billy Idol?” he asks.

“You got it,” I say, tuning to track one on the album and turning up the volume.

I knew some day my son would start bossing me around, but I wasn’t prepared for it to happen before three.

He sits back there in his car seat, singing along, pausing to point out every truck, excavator, dump truck, and city bus (articulated and regular, the difference is important) along our route, happy until he decides that he’d like to listen to "Somebody to Love" like now.

Before the age of eighteen months, Lochlan didn’t have much in the way of opinions, aside from his disdain for tummy time, store bought milk, and socks. Except for the 27-pound stroller, the bulky infant car seat, and a bag filled with supplies we might need during a one-hour shopping trip to the mall, it was easy to cart him from place to place in that he was content to just sit/lay/sleep there while I did my thing.

I knew that some day, my baby boy would be a big boy and be more independent and would have his own ideas about what he liked and wanted, but as I mentioned above, I didn’t know those days would get here so soon. It started small at first. One afternoon a little while ago, I rolled us towards the children’s section of H&M, and he said: “No, no! We need to go home!”

What? I thought. No more shopping?! Has he gone mad? So, I bribed him with a Timbit, which ended up being one delicious distraction. Soon, though, the Timbit couldn’t satiate him enough. He needed to be entertained, and the gentle music piping through the speakers above wasn’t enough. He started asking for my iPhone, and because I am weak and love to peruse through racks of clothing at a leisurely pace, I agreed. Nowadays, it’s getting tougher and tougher to keep him in that stroller (on days when I can even convince him to get in it. Also...the fact that Lochlan is a teeny tiny soon to be three year old somehow makes the fact that I put him in a stroller on occasion, acceptable) but if he thinks I’m going to give up the mall, he’s not operating in reality.

Or maybe I’m not.

Recently, Lochlan decided that he doesn’t like the confines of be more specific, pants. In the heat of summer, when we’re just hanging out around the house, that’s fine. But when we have to go out in to the world, it’s a real problem. It began with his shoes. He’s never been much for them and didn’t really wear them for the first whole year of his life, so it’s not a surprise that he thinks they are uncomfortable and unnecessary.

The minute he’s in the car or in my arms, or safely seated in a booth at a restaurant, or anywhere with his feet above the ground, he says, “I'm take my shoes off.”

It’s can (on occasion) be frustrating.

A couple of weeks ago, while trying to get him dressed for a quick but urgent trip to Costco, he planted his feet firmly on the floor when I tried to get him into his shorts. Every time I got a leg in one side, the other would come kicking out as he firmly said, “I do not wear shorts!”

“Lochlan...please,” I pleaded, wrestling him into the garment.

I continued, “Everyone wears pants, and you have to, too!”

It was a hard fought battle but eventually, I came out victorious...if not a little frazzled/sweaty.

I don’t want to raise an entitled, ungracious child, but I also want him to feel loved and validated and to know that does have choices in this world. I get it; I’m stubborn to my core, but I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to compromise, and he will, too.

We’ll clash over things that are important and some things that aren’t...but I am figuring out that when he throws a crying, meltdown fit if we can’t listen to the same Truck song 40 times in a row, I should just bite my tongue, hit repeat, and dance along.

But wearing pants? That’s never up for negotiation.


  1. Wow so I guess I am getting this wearing clothes issue early, no good! haha When I picked Bowen up from daycare yesterday they said he has been taking his clothes off all afternoon..ugh!! I should also note he NEVER has his shoes on when I pick him up either. Matter of fact he took them off as soon as we walked in the door to daycare this morning...sigh.


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