I have a four year old who doesn't like to get himself dressed. It takes me about 45 seconds to dress him. It might be a minute and a half if you count the time it takes to pick an outfit. However, if I'm having an off day with my parenting, which is approximately six days a week, I try to get him to do it himself.
It starts while I'm doing yoga, and he's climbing on my back when I ask him to take his pajamas off and pick some something to wear. At that point he will climb off my back as if he's going to do it, and go find the iPad. I ask him again to take off his pajamas and find something to wear, over and over again.
He replies, "But Babe, I'm watching Clifford," or "But Babe, I'm looking at the pictures on the Abraham Hicks video you like," or "But Babe, I'm listening to this prosperity meditation." Obviously it's my Ipad. "But Babe, I'm playing with Bella," or "But Baby, I'm busy loving you right now."
Twenty minutes later, I finish my yoga and I'm not refreshed—I'm irritated. I head for the shower or the sauna. On my way I pick out his clothing for the day and tell him to take his PJs off and get dressed. Kingston finishes the prosperity meditation. He's refreshed, of course he is—he's been meditating on prosperity in his jammies for an hour. I'm irked.
Twenty more minutes later, I dress him. The exception to that rule surprisingly was today, as I was writing this, he got himself dressed. Go figure. On a typical day though, I am at least an hour down the road, with a kid in his PJs and I'm doing it myself anyway. The only one worse for the wear is me, and again, I could have done it all myself in 45 seconds and enjoyed my yoga, and he could have enjoyed Clifford or Abraham or whatever without me griping at him.
The point is, was the fight worth it? Obviously not. Should the four year old dress himself? I think so. He doesn't and in the end he's right. Fighting a fight that won't be won is insanity.
This scenario might sound silly, but I see couples doing this all the time, fighting over stuff that is really silly and acting like it's serious. I talked to a man the other day who was honestly contemplating divorce. When we got right down to the nitty gritty it was because he and his wife were fighting constantly about groceries, who buys them, what gets bought and who puts them away. Sure, it might be easy to make a case that the fighting is about a deeper power struggle that might be serious. However, when faced with the big question, would doing it her way, or getting a divorce be easier, he decided groceries weren’t that important.
So, in the end, it usually comes back to the question, "Would I rather be right or happy?" Happy. Always. Everytime. That goes with the little man in my life and the 6'2" man in my life. So tomorrow morning when it comes time to get dressed, I will refer to the sticky note on my mirror that reads, "Easy is a choice." When it comes to the people in my life, I can let easy be the rule of the day. Right isn't that important.
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