Posted by Fitz

Be honest, dear readers: who is in charge of your house?  Would an objective observer agree?

I think we all set out to be the leaders of our households, but our children can sometimes end up being our bosses.  It happens slowly, usually, and without the parents’ permission (or most of the time, knowledge).  We try not to let it happen in our homes, but we all know some households that are ruled specifically by the child’s whims, tantrums, preferences, and the parents’ fear of how said child will react if things don’t go his way.

Before I had kids, I boldly declared (along with a bunch of other things that I had no business declaring) that my kids would fit into my life, and not the other way around.  I wanted to create a family in which the kids knew that the parents were in charge, and I wanted to be a parent, not just a friend.  The physical presence of The Bean has made it difficult – although not impossible – to keep to this declaration.  It would be so easy to let her have her way, and it would be so easy to have her be the sun that our moon revolves around.  But while our lives do focus on her almost more than anything else – and we wouldn’t change that – she is the child.  We are the parents, and we’ve worked hard every single day to create a family life that supports these roles.

I don’t mean to come across like we are this strict family with rules that don’t bend, because that is far from the truth.  There are times when I give into The Bean because the outcome really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things.  There are times when she is so cute that I laugh at something she has done, even though I shouldn’t (and am working on keeping a straight face).  There are times when I worry about how she’s going to handle going to a party that will be a little past her bedtime, or whether I should make a bowl of mac and cheese after my homemade chicken nuggets have been thrown on the floor, or how she’s going to do at the restaurant.  You know what, though?  She’ll be fine.  She’ll adjust, and in the meantime she’ll learn what life is all about – winning some battles, losing others, and learning how to compromise in a world that doesn’t always let you have your way.