Recently I have felt like I chase my little 19 month old monkey around the house saying things like, “no-no”, “put that back”, “don’t touch!” to mention a few. I realize that at his stage he wants to explore AND push his boundaries. However, I don’t want to be a negative nag all the day long. Giving this some thought over the past while I’ve started to realize that I have to “give” quite a bit if I’m going to be a “yes” mommy. That doesn’t mean that I “lose” or let him “win”, rather we both win. It simply means that I refuse to let the piddly things become the hill I choose to die on. For example: I have had the opportunity to be involved in some way with several “institutions” that for good reason have to have “rules.” I observed, however, that you can’t MAKE people good by causing them to follow a bunch of do’s and a lot more do-not’s. What you can do is give them a strong distaste for authority and break their will to do good “for goodness sake” ha! When I was in college (which will remain nameless hee hee) I had several friends who were good people, honestly desiring to do good who’s spirit was crushed under the unbearable weight of the regulation of the “piddly” things. If you live your life in a way that tiny things, which are not a sin, carry the same weight as immoral things, you will live under a constant weight of guilt, and that’s not what God intended. So all of that to say, I don’t want to start my son on that path. I want him to learn wrong from right, not a bunch of dinky rules. Now sometimes something is “wrong” simply because we have asked him to do, or not to do, something and he chooses to disobey. But this is where my changing comes in. I don’t want him to have to make that choice about nearly everything he does. I want to be able to give him certain freedoms. One example that has happened quite recently is his obsession with his shoes. We pretty much have a ‘no shoes’ policy in our house just because of all the stickers that get tracked in. Qade though, has fallen in love with his red crocs. He just loves to wear them ALL the time. Now I could put my foot down and take away his shoes because it’s our “rule” or I can make the choice to have an exception. It’s NOT going to make a dent in the grand scheme of things if he wears his shoes all day. In fact, if anything the result will be positive because I have avoided conflict and given my son the chance to hear a ‘yes’ from mommy instead of the perpetual “no-no.” That’s more valuable than finding a little dirt and maybe a sticker on the carpet. My dad had this little motto that he used when bringing us kids up. It was, “Choose your battles carefully, and win every one.” I know that we are going to experience conflict with Qade during these early years as he learns to obey and submit his will, but I also know that I can set my pride aside and not always have to be the “winner” by making my will the ONLY will. It will be alright to let him have his own say too.