I taught my older kids how to play tic-tac-toe today.
My four year old didn’t like losing. You can see his attempts at solving this problem.
First, he tried making his Os over the Xs to escape the inevitable end. Second, he made his own board and decided he would fill it with only Os so he could win. When that didn’t achieve the desired response, he connected random Os from three different boards and declared that he had won.
Unfortunately, stickler that I am, I had to remind him that there were rules to this game and he wasn’t playing within them.
It was only then that he cried and gave up. And whined, “But I want to win!”
I think many moms would do well to remember and ask as he does, in his own way, “Says who?”
Says who? It’s a decent question. Ask it, ask it humbly, truly wanting to know the answer, but ask it.
It is not rebellious to question why you are doing the things you are doing especially when you’re spending all day doing them.
I am not referring here to convictions, I have written about those elsewhere. I am referring here to the thousand things moms think they ought to do because, well, there’s no because. Why do you cook a certain way, spend a certain way, do the work you do, make the choices you do, or don’t?
Who says things have to be done a certain way?
Sure, there are some things we just have to grit our collective teeth and work through, some others must be embraced and loved, but a large part of the day is clay, waiting to be shaped into something useful, something beautiful.
And by not asking that all important question, we allow our time to slip away to whim.
And then try a million little ways to tweak your day, your schedule; use all your creativity, all your resources before you give up and say you can’t win.
Because somewhere along the line you might just hit the mark.