Picking Battles

I think I get it now when I think back to the little girls I’d see walking around the mall with their parents in a princess dress. I’d wonder how they were allowed to go out like that.

You gotta pick your battles, as they say.

Big Bro is on a blue kick; he loves the colour blue and anything lucky enough to be blue. Blue markers, blue blocks, blue cars, blue Flintstone vitamins (though I had to tell him those don’t exist). I think his little bro even got some points because he has blue eyes.

I like to give Big Bro choices so he has a feeling of autonomy. But if I give him the choice between his green shirt and orange shirt, he will choose the blue one. I wish I’d known this was coming before I bought, you know, a variety of shirts.

So, what was I saying about battles? Some battles are worth picking, such as:

– 2-year-old wants to drive the car: worth picking

– 2-year-old wants to stash family friend’s Ticket to Ride game pieces in the heating vent: worth picking

– 2-year-old wants to eat a block of butter with a fork: worth picking


But if said 2-year-old wants to pick all his clothes just based on whether they’re blue? Maybe I can let him have this one. Sometimes.

So, from his selection of shirts, he picks the stained souvenir T-shirt from Nunavut with the fish on it… because it’s blue.

From the multi-coloured selection of socks (or the option of no socks, considering it’s been 36 with humidex lately), he picks the big fuzzy ones… because they’re blue.

He has two pairs of sneakers… one casual, stylish pair and one good pair for running around. And oh yeah, he has some cheapo blue croc knockoffs meant for when we go to splash pads and whatnot. So, crocs it is, of course.

So if you’re out at the mall and you see a kid dressed like this,

Chances are he’s with me.

Well, why not, eh?  It’s what being a kid is all about, he’s showing off some, uh, personality, and besides… if I let him have this one, he’ll likely be more receptive later on when I deny him that block of butter.

Tags: , ,

Category: Babies and Toddlers, Family, Kids

About the Author ()

I am a lifelong (award-winning!) cartoonist and mother of two delightful boys, aged 7 and 5. I like to view today's adventures in parenting as material for tomorrow's cartoon. Looking at family life through "cartoon-coloured glasses" helps me keep the all-important sense of humour required for raising kids... even for the events that don't seem so funny at the time.

Comments (8)

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  1. paula schuck says:

    I am a big believer in this truism. If it isn’t life threatening or morally threatening then umm who cares? No harm and no foul. My kids go in princess dresses. And oddly now as they are tweens I fight them less over hair. I mean honest to gosh my girl with the wild curls has rasta dread lock type hair half the time. It made my Mom so annoyed.

  2. Sophie says:

    I am a “battle picker” myself. The ones that give you “the look” at the mall because of the princess/dirty-fuzzy-crocs-blue outfit are probably not parents yet 🙂

  3. Lubna says:

    Love this. I can totally relate. My younger one (2 years 9 months) is yellow obsessed. We wear yellow to sleep and to daycare and everywhere else. Now I buy yellow especially or something with yellow in it because i know the battle I am going to have and to your point gotta pick battles and so I am saving my energy for the important ones and he can have everything yellow in the meanwhile. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Natalie says:

    I took this advice a while ago when my kids both wanted to be in PJs. What’s the difference, right? They’re clothed. Four months later they are still both in PJs almost every day, and each time I feel they need to wear street clothes, like for Father’s Day dinner at a restaurant, it becomes a bigger and bigger battle. I stand by the “pick your battles” advice for sure, but just wanted to offer this cautionary tale… So if you’re at the mall and see two kids in PJs, those are with me.

  5. Nicole B says:

    Hahahaha…so true. I always judged people before I had kids and said I’d never do that but alas some things are not worth the fight. Easier to save it for things that really matter…like washing hair or brushing teeth here!

  6. kathy downey says:

    lol,i remember those days so well

  7. kathy downey says:

    Me and my daughter chatted by phone the other night about this very topic,many good memories and giggles

  8. kathy downey says:

    Sometimes it not worth the trouble nor the battle

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