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The older I get, the more selective I become about what parenting hills I’m going to die for. Some might think that’s because I’ve grown and matured as a parent and I want my kids to learn about life through their own choices and experiences.

And that answer sounds pretty good so I’ll go with that.

I am pretty sure I envisioned that I would be able to rein in my kids a lot more than I actually do.

In my early years of parenting, I was motivated to control my children based on three things: 1.) their potential for germs, 2.) preventing harm to themselves, and most importantly 3.) what others would think about me as a parent.

At this point in the game I pretty much just aim to keep them alive. The rest is completely negotiable.

Sam spent a good amount of his childhood telling everyone about the time he spent living in the orphanage. Except he called it the “orphan image” which would have been really cute if I hadn’t been slightly offended that he invented such an outlandish backstory. I spent a lot of time trying to psychologically understand why he insisted he had lived in an orphanage. Did he use a pacifier too long? Should I have co-slept? Did he need more Kale? It was finally brought to my attention that every good superhero was orphaned.

I thought about explaining that he could be a superhero and have parents, but, really…why? Fine…be a fake orphan.

I’m just gonna let this happen.

Besides, I started to enjoy the confused looks on people’s faces when he would tell the story about the “orphan images” annual rock day — where all the kids were gifted rocks. Plus, it was apparent the more he talked about it — that we were a definite upgrade in the living conditions department.

Sam has almost exclusively gone to bed with a stuffed animal and a blanket since birth. I monitored his sleeping conditions constantly.

Last Tuesday Wesley refused to go to bed unless I tucked him in with 8 AA batteries. He kept telling me he was making a “perquit” with them. Honestly, I don’t know what that is and I’m embarrassed to ask him because I’m not ready for him to know he’s smarter than I am yet.

Anyway, no Paw Patrol book or stuffed animal could rival the comfort that those “perquit” makers were giving him. So fine. Whatever. Sleep with batteries.

I’m just gonna let this happen.

After he fell asleep I confiscated them because, well, we had remote controls to fill.

Sam’s first Halloween, I dressed him up as David from the Bible, complete with sheep and slingshot.

This year…

Me: Sam, you aren’t going to be a killer for Halloween. End of story.
Sam: I want the Jason mask and the Freddy Krueger sweater…and I want some hatchets.
Me: That’s ridiculous. You can’t mix Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. It won’t make any sense.
Sam: Don’t you see, mom. It will make perfect sense.
Me: *at checkout paying for the killer costume* Fine. Be a killer for Halloween. But if anyone under the age of seven asks, you are a clumsy hockey player…got it?

I’m just gonna let this happen.

In all fairness, David was also a killer.

Look, I’m not proud that my standards have nosedived. I want my kids to be kind and respectful human beings. I want them to be happy. I will die for that hill. I want my kids to understand some important things about life.

Don’t be a bully.
Don’t believe a bully.
Remember there are consequences for everything you do.
Think about them.
Be kind.
Work hard.
Be the one who is inclusive.
Congratulate the winners.
Congratulate the losers.
Try hard.
Don’t quit.
Not everything is personal.
Listen at least as much as you talk.
God is always there, talk to Him.
Kill bugs so your mother doesn’t have to.

But so many other things, just won’t matter later and if the last two years with my youngest have taught me nothing else, I’ve learned that it’s impossible to catch, cover and control everything.

Sometimes you have to say…

I’m just gonna let this happen

So dress up as something scary for Halloween.
Be a fake orphan.
Sleep with batteries.

Just let it happen. It will be fine.


Healthy Living for Six-Year-Olds

Rachel Turner

Hi! Welcome! I write for NW Georgia Living Magazine and do a little blogging when I can. Humor is my jam. Check out my blog at http://www.rachelwriteshere.com/

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