I tried to convince her to go out for a latte after school. She suggested ice cream. So I suggested the playground. That’s how it goes. She’s five. We negotiate.

She accepted my negotiation.

It left me exhausted without coffee to save me and in the middle of a game I didn’t agree to. Suddenly I was “baby” and she was my “mama” and I was being ordered around. I couldn’t argue because I used up the last of my negotiation skills to get us to the playground. I was too tired to fight or even attempt anything else, so I “learned” how to swing. I followed my “mama” around. And for some reason, was yelled at a lot.

“Don’t stand on the woodchips!”

“Baby! Over here!”

I had a few fleeting moments of wondering if she was treating me this way because of how she is treated. I decided that yes, she has certainly been yelled at on occasion, and no, we’re not perfect, but this game at the playground wasn’t a great time for me to investigate my parenting. It was way better to follow along and let this little kid who so often has little control over her schedule and life just tell me what to do.

We can all use a break from the way things usually go.

So I followed along. She was blissed out. Until it was time to cross the street. Then, without a word, she again became my little one and I became her mommy.

We went home and made dinner.

I have a theory that the best stuff in our lives shows up when we’re tired. When we have nothing left to fight with and just let it all happen. When we are willing to just say, “Okay fine. I give up.”


Maybe you won’t save the world, but that’s okay. We can do that another time. When we have more coffee.

Author: Casey

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