I’m pretty sure that my daughter is smarter than me, and that the day will soon come where she is right more often than I am. I’m willing to cede being right… eventually.
But for now, when she’s nine, I think she should just trust me on some things.
This happened yesterday, and some variation of this happens several times a month:
We were leaving for a morning walk up to the Bake Shop. The sun was shining, it was 55ºF, and we were planning to move our bodies outside. I told her to grab a sweater or light jacket, and instead she chose a giant, super fluffy faux-fur coat.
I explained how this would be uncomfortable for her, that she would get too hot. She said, “NO I WON’T!” And I said, “Anna, you always get too hot. Just take a different jacket.” She said she would just tie it around her waist if she got too hot. Of course this wouldn’t work, as I told her, as this coat is too bulky to tie around her waist. She was having none of my logic and wore the coat anyway.
2 minutes in to our walk, she is too hot for her coat. 10 minutes later, she’s whining that the coat won’t stay tied around her waist. She was miserable. And of course I wouldn’t carry it for her, because
I’m mean I said I wouldn’t and she needs to learn that her decisions have ramifications.
But tonight, after a particularly bad fight over her unwillingness to brush her hair, I asked her why she doesn’t trust me on these things.
I said, “Anna, here you have a person who is dedicating her life to helping you grow up to be the best human you can be. I’ve been on this earth for nearly 44 years, and I’ve learned a thing or two. And I all want to do is teach you what I’ve learned. So why don’t you trust me?”
And she said, “Maybe some people just want to go through life having their own experiences.”
OK, so fair point. But seriously. Why not let me be right on these little things, so she doesn’t have to waste her time learning that the bulky coat isn’t a good fit for a warm morning walk? Maybe she could trust me on this, and spend her considerable brain power learning new things? This child figured out how to calculate the area of a triangle without knowing the formula. I know she’ll surpass me in no time in so many ways, so I’d just like to be able to help with life while I can. While she’s nine.
Because I may not be Mensa-level smart, but knowing what coat to wear on a morning walk? I’ve totally got that one.