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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Not a Spoiled Child

If you have never visited Pour Your Heart Out before, see THIS post for more information- but it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)

Also, the linky is what you make of it- if you link up a Pour Your Heart Out post, please make an effort to visit some of the other linkers. And even if you don't link up, visit a link or two to find some new blogs to read! Tips to make the most of a linky.


A couple weeks ago, my 4 year-old, Bear, was about to have Spring Preschool Picture Day. In caps because this was important to him. They would get to hold a baby bunny for these pics.

I mistakenly thought the pics were a week earlier than they actually were. So did a few other parents, so I'm convinced that somewhere, we'd seen the date posted as that day.  He had gone to school in a cute blue polo and khaki shorts, with new shoes. He was happy and ready.  But, my mama-fail prepared him for the wrong day.

Fast forward six days later: when he has a sticker on his shirt that says "I am having my picture taken on my next school day." For mamas like me who need these obvious reminders.

His teacher buckles him in and Bear turns to me with a huge grin on his face, informs me that he has pictures tomorrow and then says "I need a purple shirt for my pictures. Purple is my favorite."

To which I heaved a huge sigh.  Not that I have anything against purple on a little boy. But, he had never mentioned purple. And pics were the next day.

We got home and I showed him his blue shirt, "Look at this blue shirt! You love blue!"

And then he got that look on his face. That look I know so well. The one that says he is shutting down.

So, I resign myself to going on a purple shirt hunt after we pick up my oldest. Tweet something like "On a mission to find a purple shirt for my 4y/o who doesn't want to wear anything else for his pics tomorrow. Wish me luck." No luck at two stores I'd had hope for in the mall, no luck at Target. Tweeting out my frustration.

Purple polo shirt success finally achieved in Marshalls: beaming Bear carried the bag out of the store.

But, what I thought about...while some people replied to me on twitter about how I should make him wear the blue shirt.... and when I think about how you might be judging me right now for running around like a crazy woman just to find a shirt when he had one that was perfectly fine at home....

Are you judging? Do you think my child is spoiled?

Because I probably would think that. I have my judge-y moments, I admit.

Or, more accurately, I would have thought that. Before I had a child like my Bear.  Because if this had been my oldest insisting on a last minute color change in shirt for his pictures, I probably would have rolled my eyes, told him he had the blue one, and then turned back to my computer and ignored him. Issue over.

But, if you don't know my Bear, you don't know what he is like. He has various issues due to lead poisoning: complex issues that affect the way that he is able to process ideas and deal with emotions.

Sometimes, when things are "off," in comparison to how he would like them to be, he doesn't handle it well. Thankfully, this is usually in the small things. Like if Big Brother Monkey tries to sit in Bear's booster seat instead of his own.  Or if his socks are feeling weird and he doesn't want to wear them.  Or if he wants the pretzel goldfish instead of the cheddar ones to take to school as his snack. Or if he wants to wear a purple shirt instead of a blue one.

Little things. Things that honestly, don't upset our day. Big Brother should be in his own booster anyway. And if he gets stinky feet from not wearing socks, that's not a huge issue. Take the pretzel goldfish, they are right next to the cheddar ones. And I'll find a purple shirt.

Bear has a hard time expressing how he is feeling or if he can tell us that, he can't explain WHY feels that way.  He just wants us to get it. It's very frustrating for him and heartbreaking for us.

Bear has enough that he has to work to overcome.  So, if I can make things easier for him by going along with the small things that don't really matter in the grand scheme of life, I am going to do it.

I'm aware that everyone in his life is not going to be as accomodating. And when it comes down to something important or something that I can't be flexible about, well, there's nothing I can do about those things.

He does not get his way all the time or get everything he wants. He's not spoiled.  Is it fair that I might sometimes say "yes" to a request from him that I might say "no" to if it was coming from his brothers? No, it's not.

But, it's also not fair that things can be so damn hard for him.

And he does look adorable in his purple shirt.

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Blogger Angie said...

Some things are just not worth the battle they would cause. I would give into the colored shirt my kid wanted too if it meant avoiding a fight - besides it won't be the ONLY time he wears the shirt!

He looks so grown up in his beautiful purple shirt! Miss those boys! And their Mama!

April 6, 2011 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

He is adorable- and look at how happy he is, in his handsome purple shirt!! I do NOT think that getting him a new shirt was spoiling him. In the scheme of things, it's a little request and it made everyone's day go a little smoother.

April 6, 2011 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I definitely agree with Angie...you have to pick your battles. I have been on missions myself for things that Will has wanted.
Plus, your little Bear looks super cute in his purple shirt, definitely worth it!

April 6, 2011 at 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Making It Work Mom said...

Fair does not mean equal. Every child has different needs based on their personalities, learning styles, what is important to them. As adults we need to recognize that and adjust the way we deal with them accordingly.

I think you were perfect with Bear!

April 6, 2011 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Mama Marchand said...

Shell, he is so cute! I would've done the same thing, if it makes you feel better, and I DO NOT think it's a spoiling issue at all.

P.S. We both used "judge-y" today which makes me heart you even more. :)

April 6, 2011 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

The purple shirt + bunny = adorable!

You're the mom,not the others. Screw them.

April 6, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Oh what a cute picture!

The way I figure it, YOU get to decide how you want to parent, and it's not anyone else's business to judge :-) Don't worry about it. We all parent whatever way is best for our individual family needs.

April 6, 2011 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger myevil3yearold said...

He is too cute!

I would have went and got a purple shirt for my Boo.

I feel that life is hard and there are things I can't change. This I could. He is thankful and responsible for a 7 year old. He has never been in trouble at school.

I think you pick your battles so good job mom even if I am being judg-y (at least it is in your favor)

April 6, 2011 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Saucy B said...

oh so cute! I totally understand where you're coming from. Because of Bear's issues i don't think he should be held to the same restrictions as his brothers. As you said, there are going to be plenty of things that are going to be hard for him that you can't do anything about. Nothing wrong with giving the kid a break when it's really not a big deal.
Every child is different. You've got to parent in a way that is best for getting the best from each child.

April 6, 2011 at 7:36 AM  
OpenID mamatrack.com said...

I love his purple shirt. And I totally understand why you went looking for it. Good job, mama!

April 6, 2011 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

He looks great in his people shirt! So happy! I think you made the right decision. Good job mommy!!!

April 6, 2011 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Brittany Ciara said...

You're right, it's not fair that he has to deal with so much at such a young age and anything you can do to make it just a little bit easier for him is a great move on your part. And just look at the result, he looks absolutely precious in that picture!

April 6, 2011 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I am sure if you absolutely couldn't have completed the purple shirt mission you would have dealt with it.
"Fair" does not always mean, "the same."

He looks so stinking happy in the shirt. I am pretty sure I would have gone a mission myself.

April 6, 2011 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

You just explained my 6yo to a 't' and he doesn't have lead poisoning. Not sure if it's anxiety or middle child syndrome, but I'd go get him the dang shirt too in the same situation.

The picture is adorable! :)

April 6, 2011 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

One really important lesson I learned from my parents in parenting is all your children need and deserve what THEY need. Every person is different, even children of the same family...

I would have made MY son wear the original shirt. Because that's what would work for him as I know he would have been testing me to see "if I can get away with this, then I can get xyz". Knowing about Bear *or even if I didn't*, obviously you do what works for HIM and what HE needs.

I'm sorry if people said crappy things.

The picture turned out GREAT!

April 6, 2011 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger christina said...

that smile would be totally worth the hunt for the perfect purple shirt! as judgy as i can be about spoiled children (and i fully admit i can be), the thought of Bear being one of them bc of the shirt didn't even cross my mind. i think it was because of the fact that you expressed the look on his face and that he was about to shut down. you're just communicating with him and showing him respect, IMO. huge differerence than spoiling.

April 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Brittney said...

you have to learn to pick your battles.. I think getting him a purple shirt is fine. Why have a stressful day over something so small. Pick your battles, ask yourself is this worth stressing us all out for? If not then its fine.. I dont think you are spoiling him I think you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do. In my behavior management class my teacher said the same thing to us (thats why im passing it on to you)

April 6, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger My New Normal said...

He doesn't sound spoiled to me. And if you've got the time to go out and get a purple shirt then I say go for it.

He does look very cute in it!

April 6, 2011 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Watson said...

I would of got him the purple shirt too. It looks cute on him. And most men now think it's cool to wear purple and pink! There is a saying that goes "Real men were pink" so I do not think it's bad thing what so ever. Plus, he's a absolutely gorgeous little boy - he looks so happy in his picture!!!

April 6, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger angela said...

I love the purple shirt; he looks so, so happy! I, unfortunately, can be judgey, too, but I think my judging is different now that I have kids, and I don't usually think twice about stories like this! I think every mom (and/or dad) knows the battles that are worth fighting with their kids, and it's not my place to decide where those lines are drawn.

April 6, 2011 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger The Random Blogette said...

Coming from a mom with a son that has sever behavioral issues, you have to pick your battles. If you fight with your kid about every little thing you will be exhausted. I know, because I am exhausted. Other people/parents have no right to judge because they are not in your shoes. You did the right thing!

Bear looks absolutely adorable in his picture. Our kids had pics yesterday. No bunnies though. =(

April 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Venassa said...

He does look great in his new shirt.
I completely understand your reasoning for getting him the shirt. Besides, there are worse things he could've asked for.

April 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Mrs. R said...

I have a niece with CP, and I'll admit to catering to her a bit more. While she certainly needs to be used to a society that might not be so accommodating, I think there's no harm in helping out a child who deserves a break every now and then.

I refuse to believe a child who struggles constantly for what we consider natural movement, and works her butt off for every single milestone she achieves, (albeit it way "behind schedule") can be spoiled in the conventional sense.

I imagine Bear also knows the ways of the world and what it’s like to struggle to maneuver through it more than most kids. So the occasional purple shirt hunt is not only ok, it might be what helps motivate him to keep working hard.

April 6, 2011 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

People can be quick to judge when they don't know the whole situation. I know I'm guilty of it, too sometimes.

No, exceptions won't always be made for him, but with trivial things like shirts and snacks, what's the big deal? It's not spoiling.

A few weeks ago my son was flipping out because he wanted to wear a tie for his pictures. I didn't have one that matched any shirts that fit him. If a tie for a 5 year old was as easy to buy as a shirt, I would have gone out an bought him one. But I probably wouldn't have gone out and bought my daughter a brand new outfit.

April 6, 2011 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger singedwingangel said...

Until someone knows yoru life by walking in your shoes they need to keep their judging to themselves. He is adorable in his purple shirt so tell them I said to stick it.

April 6, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger shellycoulter said...

Oh my goodness...he is so cute! And he looks so happy and I cant believe they got him to look up with a bunny on his lap! :)

I appreciate your story! A good reminder to all of us moms to not judge because there may be more to the story. I think its beautiful that you recognize him and his needs individually...not just in this overarching way that one size fits all in the discipline dept. This raising kids business is tricky and if this is where your son needs the grace and extra attention then...Good Job, Momma!

I used to work at a day care in college and thought I knew the best way to deal with kids and would often judge what I saw parents doing. I've learned quickly in my 3.5 years of being a momma and an SLP to birth-5 year olds that there is not a one size fits all when it comes to training kids! Sounds like you know exactly what your kiddo needs! :)

April 6, 2011 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

I think we all try to accommodate our children's wants and needs the best that we can. Does that always make them spoiled? No. Does it sometimes? Yes. And sometimes, like you so eloquently stated here, there are very good reasons for going to such lengths.

April 6, 2011 at 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

That boy knew what he was talking about - he rocks purple.

April 6, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger A Mommy in the City said...

He is the cutest! I would have done the same thing for my daughter.

April 6, 2011 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous heidi @ wonder woman wannabe said...

oh, i've long since learned the value of *choosing my battles* with both the hubby and the littles of our house!

a shirt is 'small beans' in my book - and if I may add, coordinates very nicely with the blue backround. :)

what a cutie-pah-tootie!

April 6, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Semi-Slacker Mom said...

I would have done to exact same thing & my child doesn't have lead poisoning. I have to pick my battles & making my child happy for a picture is more important than buying a new shirt. And yes, he is so adorable!

April 6, 2011 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I think this rule can apply to every child, whether they have slight issues because of "disabilities" or not: choose your battles. It's something I have to remind myself when Bree wants something that I think is stupid, but she's going to be upset if I don't give it to her. Is it really worth all of the fighting and screaming and tantrum throwing? I'm not judging you, if Bree had requested a purple shirt for school pictures, I probably would have done the same thing just b/c requesting a color is part of her establishing her own taste...something I should support :)

That picture is too cute. He did a pretty good job picking out some purple :)

April 6, 2011 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Dolli-Mama said...

Growing up I had a younger sister with health issues. She got special things at times, and we were not always treated the same. I never once remember wishing things were "fair".

If your son wants to wear purple, let him wear purple. And I know that your other children will understand, if not now then later. Because sibling love is almost as awesome as mother love.

April 6, 2011 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger LOG said...

Anyone who says he is spoiled is ridiculous. I too would have found the purple shirt. You're a terrific Mama.

April 6, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger John said...

Damn does he look cute in a purple shirt.

I, as a high school senior, nearly threw a fit because I couldn't find a shirt & tie combination that I liked for my senior picture - I completely shut down.

Funny, but I ended up wearing a purple shirt for the photo.

April 6, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

He was right! Purple was a great color for his picture shirt.

April 6, 2011 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Erinsgobragh said...

Look at him in that pic! I'd say your hunt was well worth it!

April 6, 2011 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Maggie S said...

You're the mom. No one else is parenting your child. No one knows him like you. Maybe on another day you wouldn't have the energy. Maybe on another day you would extend yourself for another of your children for something different. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks about it.

April 6, 2011 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger mich said...

I would have done the same thing - pick your battles wisely. and he must be pretty fashionable because purple is the perfect color to wear for spring pictures with bunnies!

April 6, 2011 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Wonderful post! And you know I think even if you have a "normal" (which with kids is there such a thing) kid it is okay to say yes to those little things. As adults we have things that we like and prefer and we usually get our way. So why is it okay for the big adult to be telling their child they have to have regular goldfish instead of pretzel ones. There are so many things we can't bend on and need to enforce, so the little things that will help the child feel like they have a say, then yes we should say just that- yes.

April 6, 2011 at 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I don't think that there is anything wrong with going out hunting for a purple shirt. It's not like he asked for a toy...
It doesn't mean he's spoiled at all. I think that what you did is something that he'll remember. Pictures are important. Just think....on his wedding day you can tell everyone the story of how you wanted to pull your hair out in your hunt for that perfect shirt.

April 6, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Joy Taylor said...

My son at that age had his spring pics done in a purple shirt. I liked it. My son has a mood disorder so I understand not wanting to set him off.

April 6, 2011 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger DaisyGal said...

spoiled??? Nope not even close.

you know even with 3 yrs olds who have nothing but very opinionated requests, I pick my battles, that if a purple shirt will make them happy, then a purple shirt it is. I know it's hard to be a mom when you have to make these decisions, i worry all the time if giving in is the right /wrong thing to do, but I think in this case....Well just look at that smile on your son. Seriously, he is he epitome of HAPPY and that is worth it. It always is!!!!!

April 6, 2011 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Renegades said...

As long as you don't mind doing it whose business is it anyway?

April 6, 2011 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger natalee said...

Shell.. he looks amazing... I am the same way so.. honestly... Who cares if strangers judge you..... honestly you are an amazing mom...

April 6, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Papi KoRndOg said...

He does look pretty adorable! I'm going to have to check our Marshalls, I've been looking for a purple to go with these shorts I got Babe and as you now know it's not easy! I don't think that any of these things are huge things, pick your battles and who cares if people think he's spoiled, we know different!

April 6, 2011 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Papi KoRndOg said...

just realized this is signed into Chris' lol, it's me Stephanie! smartinez03 at live dot com

April 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

You made the right decision. YOU did what was best for YOUR family. It doesn't matter what others think, you were able to make your son happy and that's what matters.

And he looks absolutely adorable :)

April 6, 2011 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

You know, pre-parenthood I probably would've been like, "Stick with your guns...make him wear the blue shirt" but now...I know. I know what it's like to have to pick your battles and I also know when you just want your child to be happy. Truly happy.

When my kids fight me something fierce on an issue, I try to put myself in their shoes and remember what it was like to want something SO badly only to have my mother stick to her guns and tell me no. It was almost crushing to my spirit at times.

Sometimes, as parents, we go the extra mile because we want our kids to be happy. And that's exactly what it sounds like you did...he's not spoiled. He has a mother who loves him and wants him to be happy. And you know what, I'll bet in the future when he sees that picture and you tell him the story behind that purple shirt, he'll be so thankful and treasure you even more than he already does.

April 6, 2011 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

Oh and BTW, he does look super precious in that picture....love that huge smile on his face!

April 6, 2011 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

Honestly, if it's not ruining your day to find a purple shirt, then he can wear whatever he wants. It's not spoiling if he's still behaving well.

He looks great.

April 6, 2011 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Daffy said...

Wow...spoiled? Really? I wouldn't have thought anything about it. I would've run out in search of a purple shirt too most likely. You pick your battles in life and that just doesn't seem like one that would be a big deal...issues or no issues. If its not in the budget thats one thing...

Heh...guess I'm gonna be one of the 'those' moms :O) I don't mind.

His smile is SO WORTH it!!

April 6, 2011 at 11:39 AM  
OpenID bluecottonmemory said...

Each child is different with different needs and different responses. To get each child to the same point, sometimes you need to respond differently,like get a purple shirt. Like you, before I had children, more specifically the second one, I would have responded differently, more judgementally. Through our children, we learn humbleness.

Awesome picture!!!! The purple definitely went better with the bunny!

April 6, 2011 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger MiMi said...

Ya know, I think all parents deal with this to a degree. I constantly tell my husband, "That's not a hill I wanna die on today," with my kids. I don't care if they only eat half their dinner, they know they won't get something later. If they choose that, than so be it.
And, yes, he looks ADORABLE in his picture.
My kids would have had the FREAK OUT about having to hold a bunny. LOL

April 6, 2011 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Sarah Halstead said...

I probably would have done the same thing. He is so cute in his purple shirt.

April 6, 2011 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

What an adorable picture! And look how happy he is!! I don't think it was spoiling him, in fact I would have done the same thing. It's all about picking your battles, and I'd rather fall to the ones that I can't fix.

April 6, 2011 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger m&msmommy said...

He is SO adorable! That picture is precious. I don't think you spoiled him...you did what you knew was best for him!

Thank you SO much for doing this! I find that if I have something floating around in my head, that I want to blog about, but don't really feel comfortable just posting it if it's out of the norm from my usual "Funny things the kids said and did" Post (I know, it's my blog, but I'm self conscious :) So PYHO is an excellent time for those posts. Thank you! :)

April 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Dez said...

I've got three daughters and I've learned that there are some battles that just don't need to be fought. As long as the clothing is season appropriate and covers their body, I'm not going to fuss.
I see nothing wrong with what your son is wearing and I think it's an absolutely adorable picture. Good for you for being a mommy that meets his needs!

April 6, 2011 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

He IS cute in his purple shirt. Great find, Mom!

As for others telling you what battles to pick... you know your kids best. There are times that I'll indulge my boys and other times when I won't. It all depends on how hard you want to fight which battles. Because in the end, you know which battles matter and which ones don't.

If it had been one of my kids, I probably would have picked out three of their shirts and said that they needed to choose one of those shirts, end of discussion. But that's my choice for my kids. There are other things that I'm sure I'd give my kids that you wouldn't do with yours. It's one of the great things about parenting, I think... seeing how each of us react to different "parenting perils" and widening our own perspective. :)

April 6, 2011 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I would have gotten the purple shirt too. Screw anyone that thinks your spoiling him.

April 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Heather H said...

#1 - How handsome and happy does he look in that purple shirt? Love it!

#2 - Tell 'em to worry about not spoiling their own kids. You are his mama & if you feel it is necessary to buy him a purple shirt, then no one should make you feel guilty about it. I hate when people say, "You're spoiling him/her." Unless you know how many times yes or no has been said that day, and unless you know the child personally, and unless you know the parent's thought process for saying yes this time, then you're just being judge-y. (and by you, I don't mean YOU, Shell...you in general)

I hear a lot that my child is spoiled. Maybe she is. Yes, she has a lot of toys and stuff. There's a reason for that and it is too personal for me to feel comfortable voicing most of the time because I will start crying. But she hears no a lot more than she hears yes. And she normally handles no pretty well. Better than I see a lot of other kids handle it. And it burns me up that people will be so judgmental and harsh. They should mind their own business!

You did good, Mama, and if you ever doubt it, just look at that beautiful picture again!

April 6, 2011 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

ahhh--spoil schmoil...we know our kids the best and if hunting a purple shirt up makes for an easier day, then I'm all for it...
and like you said, all of our kids are different and we know when a meltdown may or may not occur...
you're a good mama...
and besides, it's a reason to shop, no?

April 6, 2011 at 1:25 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

You are the perfect mama. He is so handsome and I LOVE his purple shirt. Love you so much. xoxo

April 6, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Aunt Crazy said...

First, I want to say that I absolutely think you did the right thing!

Secondly, my kids are spoiled and I don't care. I dare someone to try and tell me how to raise them or try to make me feel guilty for doing it.

Last, you rock...that.is.all!

April 6, 2011 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I would have done the same thing as you. If my child wanted a purple shirt I would have found one. I would have done this for both my kids probably.

The picture is adorable and he looks so happy and cute in his purple shirt with the bunny.

(P.S. I sent my kid all dressed and ready for pictures a week early once too).

April 6, 2011 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

I don't think that makes him spoiled at all. I think that makes you a fantastic mother who knows her children, and knows what makes them tick. Some battles aren't worth fighting and we have to choose those battles daily. You did the right thing. Don't let anyone tell you different! :)

April 6, 2011 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Some of the best parenting advice I ever received was to pick your battles. Not everything is worth a fight and if something like finding a purple shirt willmakehis day- go for it. And he did look adorable in the pic.

April 6, 2011 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Jenn @ South of Sheridan said...

Okay, first of all? Adorable is a serious understatement.

Whatever happened to trusting your gut as a mom? About just "knowing" what's best for your kids? It doesn't matter how it works in someone else's household, as long as it works in yours. I think you're a great mom, Shell, and posts like this only further prove it.

April 6, 2011 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Cort (Modern Super Momma) said...

Good for you, Momma! What a great post. Yes, some things are worth standing your ground for and others, well...sometimes we all need a purple shirt.

Well done!

April 6, 2011 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Hutch said...

To me, it's all worth it (and so not spoiling) when you get a smile like that in the end!

April 6, 2011 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

That photo made me cry! He is so precious, so adorable. And so happy in his purple shirt.

And, really, a purple shirt is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of life. And he knows his Mama cares enough about him to help him find a purple shirt.

April 6, 2011 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger We 2 Bees said...

He does look very cute in his purple shirt, and I totally think you did the right thing. People love to judge others, but you have to make the decision for what is right for your family at that time! Great post!

April 6, 2011 at 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have done the same thing, pictures are important so they should at least be wearing what they want. I let my baby wear what he wanted for his pictures even if it wasn't really what I wanted to wear. They have their own personality and they should have the right for it to shine, by the way he looks really cute in that purple shirt. My sons favorite is purple right now too.

April 6, 2011 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Ms. Salti said...

1. He's adorable!
2. Sometimes you have to do things that you swore you'd never do.
3. Every child has different needs, and since you're his mother, you get to decide how to care for him, no one else!

April 6, 2011 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Katertot said...

I wouldn't think you're spoiling. Instead, you are understanding that sometimes, his little brain gets "stuck" and if a purple shirt is what it takes for him to smooth over, well so be it!

I get it. :)

April 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I always hear people say that you have to pick your battles with children, so I don't blame you at all! Every kid has different needs and different personalities, so how you deal with each of them will be different. I probably would have driven across the state for a face like that! :)

April 6, 2011 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

You are such a good mom! Don't worry about what others think. Really, you know what's best for your boys ...

April 6, 2011 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger MommyLovesStilettos said...

Oh my goodness...the cuteness!! He's such a doll!

And honestly, NO ONE knows your child/the situation like you do. No one has room to judge. You are a great mom :)

April 6, 2011 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Purple shirt: $10.00

Bunny rabbit: $10.00

Smile on the face of a happy child: Priceless!

April 6, 2011 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger K said...

Yup, he's spoiled.

Not in a Veruca Salt kinda way.

More in the "My mom is caring enough to remember what it's like to be a child and things that seem little to adults were HUGE to kids." way.

a's spoiled in that way too.

Good on us. :)

April 6, 2011 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Adorable, pic, Shell! I do not judge you. I have a son with sensory integration issues who does not deal well with certain things. I know I must appear indulgent at times, but I also know my child in ways others don't.

April 6, 2011 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Jayme said...

I'd have done the same thing- went out for a different shirt. I don't think of it as spoiling your kids. We moms have to choose our battles!

April 6, 2011 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Ms. Salti said...

BTW, I think this was EXACTLY what I needed to get back into the blogging spirit, so thank you!!!

April 6, 2011 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Mrs Montoya said...

He does look darling in his purple shirt. I have definitely learned to pick my battles and I admire you for recognizing that his version of OK is different than everyone else's and for helping him get through it.

Cared for and loved is different than spoiled.

April 6, 2011 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

You will find no judgment here. That is probably one of the biggest lessons I've learned since becoming a parent - no judgment. It's funny how we all think we would be better parents than "so-and-so" until we're actually parents. I have seen myself become "that mom" that I swore I'd never be SO many times.
And it is just the little things - really the things that don't matter that much in the grand scheme of things.
Your bear is adorable in his purple shirt and I'm praying for the effects of his lead poisoning!

April 6, 2011 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Beth Zimmerman said...

He is adorable in any color and I think you absolutely did the right thing for YOUR child!

I have a little history with purple shirts. My son went to a Youth Leadership Camp for a couple of years. They organize the kids by age/grade mostly but then add a category for kids called to ministry and that is the Purple camp. The first year he went I knew he would be yellow and I found a variety of yellow shirts so he could have a clean yellow shirt every day. No problem. The next year he had determined that he wanted to be a missionary and needed purple shirts! Do you have any idea how hard it is to find 7 - 10 DIFFERENT purple shirts in a men's XL? Let me tell you ... it was a challenge! I think I hot every store in town before I was done! :)

April 6, 2011 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Dysfunctional Mom said...

I really like what Making it Work Mom said: Fair does not mean equal. You have to do what's right for each child, and treat them as the individuals they are. All kids have different needs, some more so than others. It's not like he's just being a brat.
And that picture would definitely make it worth it for me - his happiness just shines through!

April 6, 2011 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger A Mountain Momma said...

I think you are fabulous.

Great mom-ent, good on ya.

April 6, 2011 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

The blue shirt would have clashed with the background anyway. Yay for the purple! He's adorable :)

April 6, 2011 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I hate that you were even put in a position where you felt like you had to post this. The bottom line... your child, your call. It's an adorable picture. He's obviously happy. That makes it all worth it!

April 6, 2011 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Georgia Girls said...

Can you really spoil a 4 yr old with too much validation? Not hardly. He wouldn't have smiled as much in the picture, either.

April 6, 2011 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger shortmama said...

I think the same can be said for any child...we have to pick our battles. Little things that can make our kids happy with little effort on our part...why the heck not!

He looks precious!

April 6, 2011 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

I would be running all over the place too. All three of mine have their own range of needs. ANd really all kids do. And hey if it makes him happy...life is good. And yes he looks adorable! I don't think my son would have been able to hold the bunny.

April 6, 2011 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Just Another Mom of 2 said...

Oh girl, he is so far from spoiled. Every parent faces different challenges and has to pick some battles- and in your case it's even harder because of all you (and he) have to go through.

I would have bought 2 purple shirts. Just for the judge-y people. :)

April 6, 2011 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...


I would have done the same thing! I can so relate to this post on so many levels. My oldest is 12 and still has a ton of sensory issues with every pair of shoes, every t-shirt, every pair of shorts...sigh...

If it's any comfort, I knew why you went on a hunt before you told us. I understand! <3

April 6, 2011 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger blueviolet said...

That's a good kind of spoiling, and he looks darn cute!

April 6, 2011 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Leighann said...

OK. that child is adorable!


Why wouldn't you get him the purple shirt?
Choose your battles.

April 6, 2011 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

He's a beautiful, beautiful boy. You're his mama and you know what's best. Everyone else can mind their own business.

April 6, 2011 at 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Shauntelle said...

OMG, does your Bear have Sensory Integration Disorder? My DD11 and my DS7 have it too. With my DD11 it doesn't have as big an effect on our lives... she's sensory avoidant so as long as we don't force her to wear certain things or eat certain textures, she mostly self regulates...

DS7 on the other hand... well he is the sweetest, funniest boy in the world when he's had enough sensation, but when he hasn't... the world can end over things like what he wears or even just trying to decide on what he wants to eat when he's hungry.

We struggled for a long time with thinking that maybe, as the youngest, he was just too darn spoiled...

except... some things couldn't be explained away by spoiled. After one melt-down (ours) too many, I finally started researching the "symptoms" online and discovered info about Sensory Processing/Sensory Integration Disorder.

The first conversation I had with an Occupational Therapist specializing in SPD was like having someone throw me a life line. Before that, my husband and I thought we were the worst parents in the world somehow...

Anyway, sorry to babble... it's just I really felt where you were coming from, especially having that little voice in the back of your head that wonders if you're being too lenient... creating a monster. Even knowing what's going on, we still struggle with that sometimes. Fortunately, we have DS7 on a decent sensory diet most times, so it's not as bad as it was this time last year...

Thanks so much for sharing!

April 6, 2011 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...


You're such a good mama. I can relate because my 6 year old boy is sometimes perceived as being "different" because of how he processes things. But you know your little Bear best like I know my sensitive 6 year old, so no, you're not spoiling him, you're loving him by giving him what he needs in the moment. You're a true mama.

Beautiful post.

April 6, 2011 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

He looks precious in his purple shirt! You made a wonderful case for why you should've found one for him. I couldn't make such a case, but...I still probably would have hunted for a purple shirt if it was specifically requested that way. Maybe. You're making me think, which is a good thing. :)

April 6, 2011 at 11:57 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

If I was judging, I'm so not anymore after seeing the pic!
Actually, I was not judging. I'm not sure I'd run out for my 15 year old (lie lie, I so would!) but for my 7 year old who had a certain look he was aspiring towards for his class photo, I can totally see myself hunting high and low. You're a fantastic mom. That's how you've been judged! You are so terrific!

April 7, 2011 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Shell...we all pick our battles with each kiddo. We know our kids better than anyone and we know what battles to choose over the other. I get it...and most parents should!

BTW...he looks adorable in his purple shirt. Just look at that smile...he would of not had a great smile like that in the blue shirt. We both know that don't we?


April 7, 2011 at 12:59 AM  
Blogger HC said...

You're son is adorable! I also went on a purple shirt hunt for school a couple weeks ago...it was purple day, I thought we had a purple shirt...we didnt. Oops. Took forever to find!

As parents you pick the battles you want to fight, Hubbys and my parents say they dont understand why we give in on some things, and not others. Because wearing different socks doesnt matter...throwing his blankie and hitting someone, does. You do whats best for you and yours, forget eveyone else!

April 7, 2011 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

He is so darn cute!! And look how happy he looks - we all do things for our kids to make him happy. He'll remember that shirt forever!

April 7, 2011 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

I didn't judge. As soon as you said he was starting to shut down I remembered, and I have friends with kids like this. I so understand.

I'm glad you got the beautiful purple shirt for him and that it was a success!

April 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I feel terrible that you even had to worry about what other people think.

But you're right.

Mothers can be hard on other mothers.

Usually, though? It's because they're insecure themselves, just trying to feel better about their own choices about which they may be insecure.

Do not worry, mama. You're being a loving, THOUGHTFUL mother.

Emphasis on THOUGHTFUL because you're thinking it through.

(and p.s. Blue is still my favorite color but he's so cute in that purple the bunny can't hold a candle to him.)

April 7, 2011 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Poppy said...

School pictures are a one shot deal and they are expensive. My kids usually end up looking homeless no matter what they're wearing. What a handsome and proud kid in his purple shirt.

April 7, 2011 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

Adorable boy, adorable bunny pic! The purple shirt is a winner - what great taste he has:) And no, I don't think you're spoiling him, I would have done the same.

April 7, 2011 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Anastasia said...

I think you have to pick your battles. My preschooler is the exact same way about the silliest things. Or silly to me, but super important to her. And I figure if I can fix it I will because there are some things I just cannot fix.

April 8, 2011 at 3:27 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

Have a good weekend!

April 8, 2011 at 6:31 AM  
Blogger Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

omg...i was SO hoping you'd show the picture and he is freaking adorable!!!

i know what you're saying...it's hard to judge and to be judged. we all struggle with both. if i was reading your twitter feeds, then i would probably think, "wow...that sucks...you wouldn't find me doing that," but then i'd turn around the color the excavator orange for Matthew just b/c he asked...even though he's completely capable of coloring himself. the definition of spoiled is in the eye of the observer...not the beholder. you do what you gotta do to keep the peace and you know your limits.

plus, i cannot get over the adorable factor!

April 8, 2011 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I would have done the EXACT same thing. He's beautiful Shell.

April 9, 2011 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

Awwww, he's sooooo adorable--what a great pic!!! You do what's right and what works for you. No judging on this end; I've seen enough mommas who have learned to pick their battles and this is just another of those instances in life.

For what it's worth: I think you are doing a fine job.

April 9, 2011 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger The Empress said...

What a beautiful boy.

April 9, 2011 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I don't think I've ever seen a child look so blissfully happy like that in a school picture.

No one ever let me hold a bunny.

April 10, 2011 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

As a mom we all know the small things make big differences ...and with multiple kids you know what those small things are ...your oldest probably would have shrugged it off but as you said this was important to bear and that is what makes it important to a mom...my son is spoiled he is the reason the sun rises and sets for me...I can't give him everything I make a regular wage and I have bills to pay but the things I can give him I do and I rush around and go nuts to make it happen and someday my hope is all of those little things are remembered as the best big thing ever ....Momma's Love!

April 11, 2011 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger Mungee's Ma said...

He is absolutely adorable. That smile could part rain clouds!

April 11, 2011 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Lady Old Soul said...

Aww, poor Bear! I can sympathize, truly. I don't know that I would go to that length for school pics, but I most DEFINITELY went that distance and then some for this wedding we just went to on Sunday!! I visited (at last count) 23 different stores looking for various items that one or another of us HAD TO HAVE in order to be properly dressed to our own minds. LOL I'm pretty apt to get my judgy-pants on most of the time, but this post will make me think a little harder in future. =) Kudos!

April 12, 2011 at 4:52 AM  
Blogger From Tracie said...

In your place, I would have done the same thing (and he did have just about the cutest picture I have ever seen...and how great that they got to have a bunny in it!??! Awesome all around).

I don't think that the occasional special shopping trip will spoil a kid. I'm sure that you discipline him, and that he follows rules (or has consequences) and that he is a good kid. A cute purple shirt isn't going to change any of that.

April 13, 2011 at 2:13 AM  

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