'I will not eat the cat food'

I will try one new food every single day. Willingly. Even cauliflower. 

I will stop saying the word “mine” and will replace it with, “yours.” Sharing is caring.

I will stop suggesting that my baby brother be given away, sent back, sold to the pet store or physically harmed.

I will resist the urge to criticize my father’s cooking in manners that are inscrutable such as, “that toast is too toasty” or “that burrito is too squashy.” 

Likewise, I will learn to live with different foods touching one another on my plate. Even cauliflower! And peas. And will carry this accepting nature to my clothing, no longer indulging in comments such as, “I can feel those words written inside my shoe.”

I will wear shoes.

Though I may get emotional, I will stay basically upright when expressing my emotions and will not flail, arch my back, throw my head back violently, crawl under furniture or contort in a way that truly frightens my parents.

If eventually potty trained, I will wipe. And flush.

I will not volunteer information to the cashier at Target. This includes — but is not limited to — anything my mom does in the bathroom, anything regarding Dad’s underwear and anything about the neighbors.

I will not lick ANYTHING at Target.

I will learn to view both my jacket and the car seat as protective measures, rather than conspiratorial traps. 

I’ll give up Dora, so help me.

I’ll remember that ALL sippy cups were created equal.

On Saturdays, I will not get out of bed before 9 a.m. And this will not affect my afternoon nap. Or my 7:30 bedtime.

I will make bedtime a blissful, Hallmarkian event for my entire family. 

I will color only on paper. Always. 

I will ask only one “hot topic” question — the ones that make my parents feel incompetent — per month. Subjects to avoid include Santa’s discriminatory nature, dead animals, ugly babies and — the granddaddy of them all — where babies come from. 

I will not eat the cat food

I will not continue to eat the cat food, demand the cat food and/or eventually break down my parents to the point at which they actually give me little bowls of cat food. I promise.

I will not touch said cat in a way that my parents clearly think is inappropriate, which apparently includes tail pulling, ear grabbing, punching and petting the fur in the direction which makes it fluffy.

I will not accuse my Grandma of making mac and cheese wrong.

I will not tell Mommy, repeatedly, that Grandma’s mac and cheese is better.

I will not mess with bookshelves or DVDs.

I will find Mom’s purse uninteresting.

I will use napkins only as napkins and will blow my nose in a tissue, always.

I will sing on key.

I will show disdain for toys that make noise


Jen Wittes is a freelance writer and mother of two who lives in St. Paul. Learn more about her work at jenwittes.com. Send questions or comments to jwittes@mnparent.com.