dependent is the new independent

Rhett at the age of 5 has always been my most independent child.

Rhett at age 5 telling a storyBeing the third boy, it was his way of proving himself to his brothers.

Proving his worth to brothers who themselves were still asking for help in the same situation.

Of course, as the third child, it is also a survival mechanism.   At some point, if you need something you are going to have to get it yourself!

Because Rhett is my last, I have cherished the infrequent help he requires.

I know how quickly this stage is passed.

How quickly the mommy-need disappears.

How easily an extra hug can be applied in the middle of assistance.

And now Rhett is exploiting it.

He is manipulating a cherished mommy-moment into a dictatorship.

It starts out so sweetly…

Mommy, can you help me take a bath?

Of course!   Lay down and I will wash your hair.

No!   I don’t want to wash my hair.

I will do it for you.

No!   Wash my feet first!

Let’s wash your hair.

No!   I don’t want to wash my hair!

You asked for my help and this is what I am willing to do.   Lay down!

Then a few minutes later the scene is repeated on a different set…

Mommy, can you help me pick out my pajamas?

Sure.   Let me go get your underwear.

Please pick out my pajamas too.

Here.   Put these on while I find you some pajamas.


Here are your Mario pajamas.

I don’t want those.

Why?   They are your favorite.

I don’t want to wear them tonight.   Pick something else out.

Here are your Lego Star Wars pajamas.

Nope.   Pick something else.

Why do you want ME to pick out your pajamas if you don’t want to wear anything I chose?

I want you to figure out my way.

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  1. Wow, does this sound frighteningly familiar. I like what you said: “You asked for my help and this is what I am willing to do.” I believe that may have come out of my mouth, too, at some point. Happy 4th of July to you and your quickly-growing-independent children!

  2. I think this is such a great idea Holly! I have the perfect post to add! Happy 4th to you and your guys.

  3. Wonderful. The manipulation gene is alive and well in our babies. And they know it, the little buggers.

  4. LOL! That’s when I start thinking, “WHY do they have to argue about EVERYTHING?!”

  5. “I want you to figure out my way.” That’s pretty cute, even if it DOES get annoying trying to read minds. My two-year-old is incredibly independent, so when she comes to my for help, I readily indulge her.

  6. Just so you know: once you figure out his way, he’ll change it.

  7. Wow. He has got your number Holly! lol.

    But I would totally play along too- that face of his is just precious:)

  8. Just the same as my youngest telling me, “Can you help me so I can help you?” LOL! What can I do, he loves staying by me and his dad when we’re cooking. And likes his own chair, kitchen utensils and even wants the spices near him! Good one, Rhett! You make your mom prouder!

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