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Choosing your battles

Buzz Lightyear, a boy's favorite hero
Buzz Lightyear, a boy's favorite hero

Buzz Lightyear,” says Number 4, pointing to one of the many miniature cartoon characters on his pajamas.

The delighted senior citizen doesn’t quite make it out. There’s a pacifier clenched in Number 4’s teeth and it’s making his speech a little hard to understand, more so than usual. The elderly man, however, is just happy having this exchange with a two year old. He doesn’t care that 11:00 in the morning, in public, this child is still wearing his pajamas. Nor does he care that at almost three years old this child is still chewing on a binky, in public. This child’s dad doesn’t care either. He and the old man share a knowledge born of experience and a delight that comes from letting go.

There’s more to raising kids than getting them in the right clothes. Of course sometimes just having clothes on is chore enough. Today though everyone wins. Number 4 is ecstatic that he gets to wear Buzz all day long. Also, he gets to wear Spiderman sneakers. His dad did insist that he wear shoes after all. The dad isn’t insane you know. Some fights are worth having. The trick is knowing which ones to pick.

Does he fight over wearing the favorite pajamas all day? Nope. What about wearing shoes? Yep. Giving up the pacifier? This one’s tricky. Dad decided no.

The elderly gentleman is grinning madly at the child. This is obviously the highlight of his morning. Dad thinks that maybe not fighting over the binky was a good call.


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