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Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I want you to be happy. I want that very much. But, my love, you can't always get what you want.

You want your friend to sit in your stroller with you. He doesn't want to. You can't force him. No amount of crying or screaming or pushing will change that. Other people won't always do what you want.

You want to watch another video. I've already let you watch too much. You want to watch Calliou. I've said no, and not just because I hate him with a unexplainable intensity. Sometimes people will say no to you, whether you want them to or not.

You want to add the sugar to the dry ingredients. The muffin recipe calls for the sugar to be added to the wet ingredients in the bowl in front of your brother. He wants to pour it in and mix it up. He wants what you want and only one of you will get it.

My dad used to sing that song to me and I hated it. What does it mean? Why can't I get everything I want?

I sing it to myself now as I talk to you. As I listen to your frantic pleas and cries for whatever it is that you want in that moment. I tell myself over your whining that wanting is part of growing up. And being a grown up is knowing that you won't always get it.

So I will listen to you and comfort you and get frustrated with you when you just won't stop. And I will tell myself that no matter how much I may want for you to stop wanting, I can't always get what I want.


  1. I have this discussion with my daughter a lot. It goes like this:

    Her - "I want _________"
    Me - "I don't think that's a good idea right now."
    Her - "But I want it."
    Me - "I know you want it, but my answer is no."
    Her - "BUT I WANT IT!!!"

    It's so hard for them to understand that the issue isn't their wanting at all.

  2. Ah the wanting what they can't get, it just might be my demise. Also is there any parent out there that actually likes Caillou?

  3. touché.

    i live the same thing. every. single. day. and seems to be getting worse. sigh.

    i'd take caillou over max and ruby. yep, that's how much a hate max and ruby!

  4. Well said. It's a tough lesson to learn!

  5. Not looking forward to teaching this lesson. Right now we are trying to teach the basic concept of no to our eight month old. Ie: When she scratches our faces (No!); When she pulls our hair (No!); When she tries to put something she shouldn't in her mouth (No!); When she's eating and tries to rub food in her hair (No!) etc...

    Don't think it's sticking yet - and know the more complex debate of "But I want it" is coming down the road :)

  6. I sing that song ALL the time to Margo.

    The other week they were in the backseat together and Maude was crying and I heard Margo singing quietly to her 'you can't always get what you waaaant...but if you cry sometimes" I had a good chuckle

  7. Clever perspective. And yes, I should remember that less on too!

  8. Julie - I hate Max and Ruby too - can't stand those pesky bunnies!!

    My favourite quote:

    "Wanting is part of growing up. And being a grown up is knowing that you won't always get it."

    Profound and oh so true . . . and even adults still want and often give in to those wants on a regular basis. I really tire of the constant explanations to three kids on why they can't have something. I have even used the dreaded "because I said so" on the days they have really been wearing me down.

  9. My toddler can't understand why his older siblings don't want to play with him all the time, or play the games he wants to every single time. :0S

  10. Caillou is on TV? I like his books, but am not sure I'd like him animated.

    Love the last sentence in particular. So true, and so easy to forget that we sometimes need to learn the lesson we're trying to teach.