My mom always made us feel like we had some independence of thought growing up because she always offered us two choices. Whether it was what we would eat for lunch, the outfits we would wear to school or the treat we got to pick at the store we were always given the ability to choose from two categories. Now that I am a mom myself I understand the brilliance of this plan. We felt powerful while, in reality, she was completely controlling the situation. True mom magic. Children tend to become overwhelmed by a huge variety of options. I once took a 2 yr old Zuzu to the Disney Store and told her she could have any toy she wanted. An hour and twenty eight toddler panic attacks later we left empty handed. She cried into my shoulder as we walked out of the store, in between the snot and the sobs I made out the phrase, "TOO HARD." Lesson learned. I now present my little chicken with two possibilities and she always cheerfully, gratefully chooses one of them. I start my sentences with, "Okay, Zuzu, these are your options..." more times though out the day than not. But it works. Really. Quite, nice and easy.
Lately, I have had a wealth of choices to make in my life. Most do not play easily with one another. I feel a little like a toddler in the Disney Store. It is colorful and full and I only get one thing and what if I make the wrong choice and end up going home with a Pocahontas doll when everyone knows that is the worst princess movie and her dress is the absolutely the least sparkly. Oh my goodness, what should I do? Cue the tears. I was making breakfast the other day (which means I was pouring cereal) when Zuzu walked into the kitchen and pulled on my shirt,
"How do you like your options?"
I laughed and squeezed her and teased her for trying to sound like me. But while she was eating her bowl full of marshmallows and milk, I paused.
How do I like my options? Pretty well, I think. But there are too many. And I wish someone would just pick two out the sky and tell me to choose. Because maybe then I could. And it would be so, you know, nice and easy.