“You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”
Over Thinking Parenting, editorials by me…
My daughter has been saying “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit!” for nearly a year, something that she learned from her preschool teacher. I like that phrase. It’s simple, powerful, and yet profoundly difficult to master.
Each time that we are headed out the door and I hand my daughter a pair of shoes, she has a major meltdown. Over shoes! She’s the Princess of Dawdling, and the indecision of which of her two pairs of shoes to wear drives her (and me) mad. Half the time, I am thinking to myself, “Just be thankful that I even bought you those embarassingly glittery, bejeweled shoes that you desperately wanted over sensible shoes.” So I remind my child about throwing tantrums, and through very angry tears, she sputters out, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”
Then we have our moments at dinner time. Our children eat what we adults eat as I refuse to cook separate meals for everyone. Because my husband and I are adventurous eaters, I am always on the lookout for something different to share with the family. What comes on my daughter’s plate is rarely the standard kid-fare, and though she will protest trying something new, she nevertheless takes one bite because “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”
Another common cause of distress in my child’s life is the color obsession, which I have witnessed in many children so at least I take consolation that my child is not the only one. (It is especially prevalent at little girl birthday parties if there is only one item of a specific color.) Those darn IKEA plastic bowls and plates that come in the array of rainbow colors…I wished that they would sell them in solid color packages. In my household, the color would be pink, everything pink. It would save me from having to listen to meltdowns over snacks being put into a blue bowl. Oh, heaven forbid, a blue bowl! My daughter has actually said to me, “Cheerios taste better when they are in a pink bowl.” Well, child, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”
I throw this phrase back at my child a lot during the day, so much so that I should probably get one of those instant playback devices where you record an audio message to yourself. Anytime that it is needed, I just would press the button and deploy the message.
Just yesterday, after one of these moments, I was making a list in my head of all my kids’ grievances and wishing that they were better behaved, less whiny, more this or more that. It is so easy to fall into that trap as a parent especially after listening to the umpteenth whine within an hour span. When I get to that point, I am simply irritable and impatient. Just as I heard my daughter muttering the phrase to herself at that moment, I started chuckling at the irony of the situation which snapped me out of the parenting funk. These are my kids, and they are mine for life. “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”