One of the things I’ve learned about parenting from my step-mother, who is a wonderful parent and longtime journalist about family issues, is how to let it go. What fights are worth fighting? Does every moment need to be a teachable lesson? When is it okay to make a mess? I learned from her, as Child Harbat wanted to wear her vampire cape to the beach, to just let it go sometimes. It sounds ridiculously easy but as a parent you get stuck in a mode of protecting, nurturing, and educating your child and look in the mirror one day and realize you’ve turned into a joyless prude. LET IT GO.
So what do you do when your daughter has dressed up in her unicorn outfit right before dinner and made a unicorn nest for herself out of a sheepskin stuffed into a laundry basket? You LET IT GO. My wife prepared her a plate of food so she could eat under a chair and keep the magic alive. And we got to have a quiet meal as adults. Just kidding! We got to eat at the kitchen table with Mr. Noisy, but more about that tomorrow. In the meantime, please line up one at a time to pet the unicorn. Do not try to take its food away, however, unless you wanted to be gored with a horn.