Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Raising a Rag-A-Muffin

The moment I became a mother I made a personal decision: I will always make sure my children are taken care of; mentally, physically, and emotionally.

For almost 6 years now I have lived according to that decision.

My husband and I both have done all that we can to make sure that our children have nice things, decent clothing, and a clean/safe home to live in.

But recently a 4ft storm has been brewing in the Larios homestead.

You see, my oldest son will turn 6 next month and has recently decided (much to my irritation) that he is old enough to take care of himself.

Now, I don't mean he's getting a job, paying the bills, or even cooking for himself.

(I'm not willing to let go of that much control!)

But my 5 going-on-15-year old son now thinks he's old enough to pick out his clothes for school, bathe himself, and no longer needs me to comb his hair.

I know what you're thinking, "He's 6! Let the kid be independent."

And when it comes to bath time I do. He needs to learn some modesty so I've let him take over that particular task.

As for the rest? I'm trying.

And it would be so much easier on my end if HE WASN'T DOING IT WRONG!!!!

I know I'm letting my control freak flag fly here but really, the child looks like he was raised in a barn!

We are talking full on rag-a-muffin style: mismatched clothes with uncombed hair, holes in the knees of his pants (that I've patched and replaced and he STILL picks the ones with holes) and nasty little boy shoes.

The works.

Getting an mental image?

As a mom. I take pride in how my children look. I've always believed that it reflects back on me. So I've always tried to make sure that their clothes are presentable and they are presentable in their clothes.

But I've apparently lost all control with this one.

And I'm not very happy about it.


And apparently he's just as stubborn as his mother father because he wont budge once he's made up his mind.

Trust me.

I've tried to persuade him, to bargain with him, and to bride him with absolutely no result.

He literally turned down a cookie before breakfast because he didn't wanna change his nasty pants.

And if you knew my son, you'd know that he does not turn down cookies.


(Oh, and I've tried to compromise with him and teach luck there either. Little brat.)

So I'm at a loss.

And the biggest issue I'm having is that part of me wants to allow him to have this independence to be himself, to learn on his own, and to grow up comfortable making his own decisions. You know, all that level headed, psychology based parenting stuff.

The other part of me is DYING (maybe not literally, but a part of me is) because my son looks homeless.

I'm honestly waiting for the day that the school counselor calls me to ask if we are struggling financially at home based on this child's appearance.


It's that bad.

(And this part of the rant has been based solely on his clothes. You don't even wanna know how bad his hair as been! Which, lets just say, if I knew would be this bad. I'd never have let him get the Mohawk style cut.)

So what's a mother to do?!

Do I start enforcing that he dresses the way I say?

Do I tie him to the chair to run a comb through the quaff at the top of his head?

Because I just don't think that's the way I wanna go.

I dunno.

I think I'm just gonna do some old fashion manipulating and donate all the clothes he owns that I don't like.

After all, if it's not there he can't wear it right?!


***Have any parenting struggles of your own you'd like to share? Let's hear about them in the comments section! I'd love to know that I'm not the only mom out there that is facing childhood stubbornness***


  1. Lol I love you!!

  2. Facebook reader comment I thought I'd share:

    "lol! be proud that he doesnt care what other people think of him! that is a trait many mothers would kill to have their children possess. peer pressure is a B and your son wont let other peoples opinions of him change his individuality. sadly for you, your opinion is included!! as long as he is happy and healthy let him be for now. and in the meantime, maybe just have a conversation with the teacher so they know not to be concerned."

    1. My response:

      I have. She laughs, loudly. BUT HE'S STILL DOING IT WRONG!!!!!!!!! You know me. My OCD and control freak-y-ness has me by the throat.

  3. MY SIL always used to tell me she wanted to put a sign on her daughter's back that read, "I dressed myself today." You could try that! :) My 5-year-old also is becoming uber-independent and thankfully I've let it be one of the battles I just don't fight (trust me, I'm really busy fighting other battles). He knows there are different clothes you wear for school or church or playing out in the field and from there I just let him go. Wants to wear snowboots on a hot summer day? Whatever. Wants his hair sticking straight up? Okay, maybe I send him out the door with a hat for at least until he's out of my sight...Good luck with this! It's preparing you for the grunge or punk or whatever fashion trend you'll most definitely not agree with that is coming during his teenage years!

    1. Yes! I have considered putting a sign on his back! Or pretending I don't know who he is when I drop him off in front of people.

  4. I am cracking up right now!!!! Maybe the night before school you could pick out two outfits and let him choose between the two. That way is exercising independence and you're still semi in control. My 2, almost, 3 year-old daughter has now taken to pushing me out of the bathroom so she can wipe herself...umm, not doing a good job Andrea @ #sitsShareFest

    1. That's a really good idea! I don't know why I didn't think if something like that. (Lack of caffeine I'd say) I'm going to have to try it.

  5. For school, my 5 year old wears a uniform, so no argument there. When we're going somewhere that requires him to be "dressed", like church, I give him a few options and let him choose from those. Otherwise, I let him wear what he wants, always have. A cowboy hat and life jacket to the grocery store? Done it. Swim goggles in December? Yep. All about picking your battles. I won't compromise on the hygiene, though. He puts up a fuss once in a while, but he's combed and clean when he leaves he house.

  6. Ahh, school uniforms as the previous poster mentioned. Would make mornings so much easier! Usually my daughter wants to wear her princess dresses over mismatched shirts and pants. She's only three, so it's not earth-shattering yet, but I do like a bit more control personally.

  7. I so feel your pain! At least he's a boy. My 6 year old has hair done the middle of her back and growing-out bangs to her chin. She loves mismatched clothes that are inappropriate for the activity or weather. The hair is the worst, though. She won't let me cut it and half the time she won't let me brush it. She looks like she should be straight jacketed in a psych ward some days! I think I'll market sticky labels to slap on their backs that say " I got myself ready today!"


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