Parenting a Painfully Independent Spirit

C2 is my middle child.   She is 3-years old, fiercely independent, and unpredictable.   I am constantly questioning my ability to parent her in a way that encourages self-expression, while keeping the batshit crazy in check.  Her freak-flag flies high. 


C2 is a kiddo with an ability to turn any situation into an adventure. It is not uncommon for her to have a story line involving our minivan being pursued by some sort of evil beast.   C2 is always the hero. I’m usually the dumbass who put our entire family in danger.

Trying to understand how to handle when her imagination goes haywire is tricky.   C2 can become so immersed in her stories, she is completely unaware of her surroundings.

  • She has wandered after a fairy in the grocery store, only to be located an eternity later (ok, 2-minutes) gazing into the wonder that is the rotisserie chicken rotator.
  • She has told random strangers that her grandmother was recently murdered by ninjas and she needs to avenge her death.
  • My personal favorite came on a day where I heard some terrible screaming coming from C2’s bedroom.  I ran like crazy to get to her.  Once in her room I found her laying on her bed with a pink plastic butter knife left over from a party.  She was giving birth… via emergency c-section.

The imagination is still one I’m trying to figure out how to handle.  I by no means want to stifle her little adventurous mind, but sometimes it would be nice if I could change her mental channel… or at least lower the volume. 

Fashion Sense 

As you can see from the above picture C2 has an eye for fashion.  There is nothing simple about getting out of the house with her.  I can’t even explain what it is like having a 3-year old need to have 946,397,386 outfit changes in a day.  We were late for our Easter celebration because I had this stupid idea that she would want to wear the dress I bought for her.  45-minutes later I just caved.  She looked crazy, but cute as hell.

My qualifications for her being dressed changed from requiring some form of coordination, to shoes on the right feet and vagina and nipples covered.  This one is all about picking my battles.

Her Personal Justifications

She’s always right, just ask her. It can be exhausting.  There is no such thing as having a rational conversation with her at this point.

Case and point.  There was one day where I was speaking with C2 about the importance of not bringing piles of chicken shit into the house (you read that right).  She had just completed Vacation Bible School and she was going to argue this one to the death.  Her response was that “Everything is God.  Sky is God, trees is God, chickens is God.  Then Mama chicken poop is a gift from God!”.  I wanted to quit life right then.  I just told her to keep all of her “gifts from God” outside.

In her eyes she can do no wrong.  I just need to figure out how to teach her that justifications only work when they are legitimate.  Or I should just push her into law school…


C2 has an unwavering sense of self.   She does not allow herself to be pushed around and she is very difficult to manipulate (I have tried).  She catches her reflection and announces how beautiful she is. 

I find myself envious of her.  Her drum is off rhythm but she rocks the beat. 

I have a firm belief that C2 will continue to provide me with plenty of inspiration for additional articles.  Stay tuned.


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