For the past couple mornings, my youngest and I have had a disagreement about his attire for school.
For TEN whole minutes he stands in front of me, tears streaming down his face because he doesn’t want to wear underwear. Every morning I help him get dressed. I sit with him standing in front of me, said underwear in my hands ready for him to step into but he just keep repeating the mantra of
But. I. Don’t. Want. To. Wear. Underwear.
I listen calmly the first few times repeat back to him that I understand his fear of underpants but he must wear them to school. Then I go into all the reasons WHY he needs to wear undergutches to which he answers BUT I DON’T WANT TO WEAR UNDERWEAR!!!
That’s when I bring start counting and he starts negotiating and crying and sniffling and I tell him that he WILL wear underwear or I will spank his butt. Finally, he relents but only after I’ve promised to take him to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal if he wears them all week. He’s happy, I’m happy and I’m sure his teachers are happy his butt crack isn’t showing when he bend’s over.
Do you know why he doesn’t like to wear underwear?
It didn’t hit me until after he was dressed and on his way to school that he really is a lot like his mother. There are times when I don’t want to do something because, ultimately, it’s just darned uncomfortable. But the same arguments I used to get him to wear the darned things hold true for the things that hold me back.
Things I uttered this morning in my frustration to get underpants on my boy:
- What if you have an accident? It will fall out of your shorts instead of being stuck in your underwear. (REALLY makes you want to wear underwear, doesn’t it?)
- You have to cover the essentials. You don’t want to get pinched.
- You don’t want to get sand everywhere when you’re on the playground.
His arguments right back to me:
- It hurts
- It pinches
- It’s too tight
- I like the freedom (I’m paraphrasing but essentially that’s what he meant)
You know what I ended up telling him to get him to wear his underwear?
I said, “Put on the underwear.” He said, “But…..”. I said, “NOW!” He said, “But I don’t like underwear!” with a sniffle and I said, “NOW!” Then he said, “OK, but we’re going to go to McDonald’s right?” to which I replied, “Of course, but you have to wear your underwear all week.”
He put them on, complained a little and then after a few minutes he was used to them.
The little lesson I learned this morning was that I need to listen to my own advice.
I need to put on the uncomfortable. Suck it up and just do it- confident that after a few minutes (or so…) I’ll get used to it and it will become comfortable. Then I can reward myself for a job well done – or at least – done.
I think I need a sign above my desk as a reminder that reads:
BECAUSE I SAID SO!
What are the things you’re avoiding because it’s just too uncomfortable? Don’t let them hold you back any longer! You deserve better and I promise that it only hurts for a little while.
This morning he put his underwear on without incident. It only took 2 days of powering thru the tears to get used to the idea. So, today, I challenge to you take a chance and do something UNCOMFORTABLE!