“I’m going to leave this one bite, okay, Mommy?”
I hear that, without fail, at every meal. Just like she hears, “Eat four more bites,” and “Less talking and more eating, please!”
It doesn’t bother me, her leaving one bite of food on her plate. I work hard to teach her healthy eating habits (you know, so she doesn’t end up like me, figuring it out in her 30s!), and cleaning her plate every single time we sit down to eat isn’t necessarily a healthy goal.
But it amuses me, for sure. She’s [mostly] a pretty obedient girl, but she’s also quite strong-willed. And leaving that one bite? Is her way of taking back a tiny bit of control.
Just like when I insist on controlling the stereo volume in the car when Mark is driving. For the longest time, it has driven me [ha! No pun intended, I promise.] batty to ride in the car with my family if I’m in the passenger seat. Annalyn never stops talking (or louder) and Mark just keeps cranking the radio up – and then trying to talk to me! Drives. Me. Cuh-razy.
I realized, as I was thinking about Annalyn and her one bite power play, that the volume in the car is my control hot button. I can’t control her carrying on in the back seat. I can’t control Mark’s speed or blinker usage. I can’t really control anything from that seat! But I can demand that the noise level be brought under control. My control.
This certainly isn’t the only area of my life that I try to control, and today isn’t the first time I’ve been called a control freak (even by myself). But I thought it was funny to recognize the ways that a) my quirks show up in the strangest places and b) my daughter is like me in so many ways!
Are you a control freak? Where does that tendency show up in your life?
I am a total control freak. Sadly though I’ve found that when I can’t control things I just get angry. And when that anger is reflected back at me through my kids it’s down right humbling. So I’m working on it. Slowly letting go of my control issues and as a result my anger issues too.
Control and anger – they are closely related, aren’t they? Ugh. I hate realizing that!
I am a control freak in many areas, but it realloy shows up in my parenting style! Yikes, I’m learning to let go and give each one a bit more independence. It’s tough, though! Another place I see it is in my style of home keeping: I like it my way!
Your comment about home keeping reminds me of how often my best friend laughs at me because anytime she tries to help out at my house (cleaning up after dinner, for instance), I have to grit my teeth not to correct her or “fix” whatever she’s done “wrong.” :)
I am controlling in a lot of areas. I have been worse in the past, but I am trying to work on it. I find that if things are not in my control, it makes my anxiety level soar (I have general anxiety disorder and depression). Learning to let go of some of this control is part of my own personal therapy program. I like being in control in the car too, to the point of driving most of the time, especially if we are getting on the highway.
One way I am letting go is by learning to love riding on his motorcycle with him. I do have some restrictions, like no highway, but other than that, I enjoy sitting back and watching the scenery go by, letting him drive!
I love that, Bernice! Letting go on a motorcycle is a huge victory! (Or, at least it would be for me!!!)
Oh timing Mary! It’s like we talked yesterday!
I’m really noticing that I need to work on my controlling. The kids are telling me in so many different ways!! And I’ve been reading a lot lately about different ideas of God’s authority and thinking about how that relates to me in my parenting role. And our dogs. Apparently this is important so God is also teaching me through the dogs!
I came across this idea yesteday, that God is not controlling, He is in control. Though I know some would disagree with that, it’s really helped me open my eyes to see how I need to parent (both kids and dogs! :) ) I need to let go of all the little trivial stuff -so what if my daughter goes to school in mismatched clothing, and focus on giving calm, thought-out corrections and encouragments about the big stuff -ie/telling her she is beautiful and creative. I need to own (be confident in/with) the house, my family, my job and church and be comfortable and authoritative in these things, instead of trying to controlling them. Instead of fussing and fretting (how I love to fret!) I need to hold my head up high and see the big picture!
Kimberly, thank you SO much for sharing that. Being in control instead of controlling…I’m going to think about this some more…such an important distinction!
Oh my goodness!!! I do the exact same thing in the car!!!! I thought I had become more flexible, but God has shown me over the past month that there are still a couple of areas (okay, okay… more), that I need to work on letting go of some control issues.
He’s always got one more place to tweak us, doesn’t He? :)
Absolutely. My son does this kind of thing all the time. He had to use the restroom in the middle of dinner, but when I asked him to go back in and flush the toilet he ignored me. Then he said, just eat one bit then go flush the toilet, and he grabbed a bite and ran back in there. UGH! It’s this kind of power struggle we go through with almost EVERYTHING. Sometimes it’s fine, like you are talking about with the last bite. Other times it’s like “No, we are not going to negotiate every little thing!”. Yay, parenting :)
Ohhhh, the restaurant bathroom tricks! Drives me up the wall!!!
I fear this may show up just about everywhere in my life… I am SUCH a control freak. :(
Thankfully God isn’t finished with me yet!!!! ;)
Thanks for this post – I really need to chill out. The music/radio volume in the car when we are traveling… ohhhh don’t get me started. And I don’t even have a child I’m trying to drown out.
I’m so thankful God isn’t finished with me, too!