Eenie Meenie Miney Mo

So, I realized not too long ago that I was being a dictator mom.  To some degree, that’s part of the job, being a dictator.  When my child plays in the street, there is no diplomacy, no democracy- I confidently and authoritatively tell them to get their butts out of the street.  It’s just what moms do.  But I’ve realized that that dictatorship has found its way into ALL areas of their lives.  For example, my children are 7 and 4, and I still pick out their clothes.  Emma could care less what she wears.  If you send her to pick out an outfit, she will take a polka dotted shirt that has say, blue and white, and pair it with a paisley print skirt, simply because there’s the tiniest thread of blue in there.  In her mind, it matches.  So for time and convenience, I pick out Emma’s outfits.  Addie is a little better, but if you let her loose to pick out her clothes, she is going to include a frayed and tattered princess tutu that came out of the dress up box, along with the dress up high heels that are made of plastic and missing pink rhinestones.  We’re working on the clothes thing.

But for some baffling reason I still don’t understand, I decided to let the girls choose what to eat.  I’ve begun buying several varieties of cereal, and thus have opened a new doorway into hell’s parlor.  Our mornings go something like this now:

ME:  Ok girls, what kind of cereal do you want?  You have a choice:  Apple Jacks or Honey Nut Cheerios.

EMMA:  Apple Jacks.

ADDIE:  Umm, leeetttt meeeee seeeeee. (She taps her cheek with her finger, thoughtfully gazing at the ceiling.)  Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers make him pay fifteen dollars everyday, my momma told me to pick the very best one and you are not IT…which one is it, Momma?

ME:  I have no idea, Addie.  How about Apple Jacks? 

ADDIE:  No, Honey Nut Cheerios.

End scene.

This isn’t just at breakfast, tho.  At McDonald’s standing in line with other food crack addicts, I turn to the girls and ask:

ME:  What do you want in your Happy Meal?  You have a choice:  Chicken Nuggets or a Cheeseburger?  Apples or Fries?  (Editor’s note: I always encourage the apples.  Although, slathered in caramel, I’m not sure how nutritious they are.)

EMMA:  Chicken Nuggets and apples.

ADDIE:  Umm, leeetttt meeeee seeeeee. (She taps her cheek with her finger, thoughtfully gazing at the ceiling.)  Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers make him pay fifteen dollars everyday, my momma told me to pick the very best one and you are not IT…which one is it, Momma?

ME:  (Sighing)  Ok, why don’t you get what Emma is having?


ME:  Why not?  What’s wrong with nuggets and apples?

ADDIE:  I don’t know!  I want fries!

ME:  (we have approached the counter by now, there is a line of food crack addicts watching our exchange with rapt attentions)  Fine, nuggets and fries.  ( I am considering asking for a McFlurry spoon from the cashier so I can stab myself in the eye.)

CASHIER:  What would they like to drink with that?

ME:  Oh, crap.

End scene.

But the absolute worst is when we go to Blockbuster and attempt to pick out a movie.  Lance and I have tried hard to be fair parents, we let each of the girls take turns picking out the movie.  Emma this time, Addie next time.  When it’s Addie’s turn, tho…

ME:  Addie, please hurry up and make a decision, we’ve been here forever.  Our clothes are going out of style.  I think I just felt my hair grow.  The earth has rotated.  (Ok, so I don’t really say all that, but that’s what I’m thinking.)

ADDIE:  Umm, leeetttt meeeee seeeeee. (She taps her cheek with her finger, thoughtfully gazing at the ceiling.)  Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers make him pay fifteen dollars everyday, my momma told me to pick the very best one and you are not IT…which one is it, Momma?

ME:  (eyes are closed, fingers pinching the bridge of my nose, my whole body a great big sigh)  JUST PICK ONE PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY.


Choice.  It’s a vicious thing.  If only all decisions could be made by chanting a child’s rhyme.


15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by fivemoreminutesplease on October 9, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I feel your pain. Micah (6) does not include the cute little rhyme, but has difficulty choosing ANYTHING!! I mean, breakfast at our house has as much drama as 90210. Sometimes, I just want to say, “Ok, you get free reign of the kitchen…now, you can have anything that doesn’t have to be cooked on the stove.” Then, I would leave the room and come back to find them eating something…probably oreos and coke, but it would be better than my kid getting to school with battle wounds! McDonalds is worse, and don’t even get me started on picking out a movie. When possible, we have resolved that I go to Blockbuster and Mike stays home with the kids. They get to watch what I want them to, and if they don’t like it, oh, well, no movie for them!! Who knew that choices would be such a headache!??


  2. Posted by Cristy on October 9, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Oh, man. That tapping the cheek thing sounds just like Olivia. I have now forbidden her choosing her breakfast. She must eat oatmeal for breakfast because “it fills her up and holds her over til lunch”. I made up that rule. It’s a good one if I do have to say so. Plus, it takes her like 3 minutes to eat oatmeal as opposed to the 15 it takes her to eat cereal. The McDonalds drive through is the worst! Luckily Wedge and Winnie don’t have the right to chose yet. Thank the Lord. I have to say, very timely and appropriate blog. Just when I think it’s just us, you reassure me that I am not alone. Thanks for letting us know that we are not alone out here


  3. Wow, do you ever have it easy. With boys, it’s like this:

    First kid: I’m going to eat Cheerios.
    Second kid: You’re stupid.

    End scene.


  4. Posted by Aunt Melissa on October 9, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    hysterical…. Thanks for the great laughs. I’m sure you were never like that though – a mother’s curse ya know…

    Elly plays restaurant at our house. She’s the waitress and we have to order from her. Then she hems and haws around with other customers while the food I prepared is getting cold (and my patience is getting hot). We used to play the eenie meanie miney mo game – for the most part she grew out of it. Now is the restaurant. She serves us the food and by the time we’ve blessed the food, it’s not hot anymore. At least the eenie meanie miney mo game was shorter…

    Yes, these are the stages of life that keep us mentally healthy right?


  5. Posted by sandi on October 9, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    On my reaction to this post….

    I found myself thinking…

    Umm, leeetttt meeeee seeeeee. (She taps her cheek with her finger, thoughtfully gazing at the ceiling.) Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers make him pay fifteen dollars everyday, my momma told me to pick the very best one and you are not IT…which one is it, Kearsie?

    well, lets just say that I’m Addie in about 30 years! 🙂


  6. Posted by Candy on October 10, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Great post sooo funny although Danny’s response made me cry I laughed so hard…lol…still cracking up. My girls do where poke a dots and stripes what is wrong with that .. that is one battle I do not want to deal with although lately all I have to do is suggest something and they pretty well agree.. and they make their own breakfast mine are very perdictable and eat the same thing everyday Jacob waffles, Paige jelly toast, and Natalie bagel and cream cheese.. Indecisiveness only comes a few times a year in our house birthday’s and Christmas they are horriable at picking something and sticking with it for gifts maybe because they want the whole Walmart ile..


  7. Posted by Alice Wiggins on October 10, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I don’t remember my kids being like this, but Andy’s Eli will change his mind a hundred times @ any fast food restaurant or on just about any other decision. I took him & Aaron (Stacy’s son) to get their hair cut & Eli’s is long, Aaron’s is short. Eli wanted his hair short like Aaron’s. No wait, I think I want to keep it long like Zach’s. No, I want it sh…no wait, maybe I want it long. This went on throughout Aaron’s haircut, then when Eli got in the chair he changed his mind three times until I finally had to say (because the hairdresser was giving me “REALLY?” looks) last time: what do you want. He wound up keeping it long. And that was only on a visit. I’m not sure what Andy & Kelly do with it. He has finally picked a favorite @ Taco Bell. He likes the Volcano Taco. Yep, 8 years old and the kid is killing off his taste buds!


  8. Wow. You feed your kids crap.

    “Here honey, do you want the overly sugared or overly fatty food?”
    “Diabetes or heart disease?”

    (laughing my ass off)

    Okay, I’m just kidding. But just for a second there, when you thought I might be serious, you didn’t have a care in the world about “eenie meenie miney moe…” because you thought you were gonna get a lecture from a Nutrition Nazi.

    You had peace with your kids for a fraction of a second.

    You’re welcome.

    And, really, I’m not serious about the food thing…hell, I’m eating a bowl of Fruity Dino Bites an hour after lunch.


  9. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on October 10, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    You know, I used to buy really healthy stuff like tree bark and twigs with a light cinnamony taste, but amazingly, the kids turned it down or only ate like three bites and it ended up being a giantic waste of money. So I thunk to myself one day, “Self, this is stupid, I feed the kids relatively well for most of the day, so to heck with the healthy breakfast. Let them eat cake! er- Apple Jacks!” One does what one can.


  10. Posted by Mom on October 10, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    And just WHAT is wrong with a pink tutu and plactic heels? Who CARES if the rhinestones have fallen off, just slap some glitter on them! And why are they looking at the feet, why arn’t they watching where they are going? Tree bark is actually very tasty when you add enough sugar to it… or was it honey…or cinnamon…hummmmm, tap tap tap let me seeeeee… eenie-mennie-miney-moski, eat more sugar and make mom cra-zeeeee…..


  11. Posted by Vanessa's mom on October 11, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Vanessa’s been telling me to read your blog. Well, I just started and had to stop. I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. We’re supposed to laugh everyday so I know where to go to get my “fix.”

    And ask Vanessa about picking her own clothes out when she was a kid. I think she has still has issues with that!


  12. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on October 14, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Always love it when I move someone to tears. That’s why I became a mom. Seriously, thanks for reading and I’m so glad I don’t move you to heartburn or something painful.


  13. Oh yeah. My mom read somewhere that she should let me pick out my own clothes when I was an adolescent. Remember how I talked about how picked on I was when I was younger? How I dressed played into that. I distinctly remember a picture of me on a field trip. Two different colored tank tops and some tropical floral print clamdiggers, along with polka dotted Converse. Polka dots because I didn’t like the color (off-white), and I wanted them to look more used, so I spray painted them. But I didn’t want to cover up the precious Converse symbol, so I sprayed around it, thus the polka dots.

    But I’m over that, can’t you tell? 😉


  14. i make my decisions by rolling the dice. even number = yes, odd number = no.


  15. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on November 12, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    That sounds an awful lot like gambling to me.


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