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December 11, 2013

The questions were killing me:

  • How much TV can I watch?
  • What can I eat if I’m still hungry?
  • What should I wear today?
  • What should I wear tomorrow?

I had no choice but to let go of my controlling ways and invite a little autonomy into The System.

Beginning with Maya’s favorite topic: dessert.

A very very very cold snowstorm.

A very very very cold snowstorm.

Me: “You can have dessert 3 times a week, whichever days you choose. Try not to eat things that contain Blue #1 and Red #40. Aside from that it’s totally your decision, okay?”

Maya: “Really? OKAY!”

While Maya was beside herself with her newfound freedom, letting go didn’t mean I didn’t still have my concerns:

  • Was dessert 3 times a week too little?
  • Was it too much?
  • Would Maya lie to me and pretend she didn’t have dessert when she really did?
  • Was she going to become obsessed?
  • Was I becoming obsessed that she’d become obsessed?
Lunch at Stella. Amazing from start to finish.

Lunch at Stella. Amazing from start to finish.

I had no answers, but I knew I had to let go. So I did.

And guess what? The questions stopped!

I patted myself on the back for being a pioneer in the field of child-rearing. I was a forward-thinker! Maya was well on her way to becoming well-adjusted! The System was working!

"Make funny faces Mama!" Um. Sure.

“Make funny faces Mama!” Um. Sure.

But it’s been a few weeks and new questions are being posed:

  • Does one Hershey’s kiss count as one dessert?
  • No? Well then how many do?
  • If I don’t use all 3 days in one week, can I carry over my days into a new week?
  • Are sugar covered pretzels a snack or a dessert?

So obviously I’m not a pioneer. I’m not a forward-thinker. The System has failed. I need to hire someone to answer Maya’s questions. Maya will still need therapy. And I probably will too.

Back to square one.

51 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2013 12:29 am

    Sounds to me like she’d make a great contract negotiator. So The System hasn’t failed; you’re educating her for a financially lucrative career !

    • December 12, 2013 6:28 pm

      The silver lining I suppose? LOL

      This comment made me feel better!

  2. December 11, 2013 1:14 am


    I thought the questions phase ends at Maya’s age. I am having a tough time answering a lot of questions from my 4 year old.
    Love the ‘making faces’ collage…

    • December 12, 2013 6:28 pm

      I’m pretty sure the questions NEVER end. Although maybe an iPad or cell phone would help reduce them? 🙂

      Terrible, I know!

  3. December 11, 2013 1:25 am

    Oh no, now I’m fixating…do I eat too much dessert? Too many days a week? Should I have less? Why am I comparing my dessert consumption to others? And so on.
    You are not alone.

    • December 12, 2013 6:30 pm

      The comparing never ends, does it? From dessert to my hair. I swear… I must stop!

  4. December 11, 2013 4:20 am

    The minute I read your answer ‘ dessert 3 times a week’ I began working my brain cells, “would that include weekends? what if I had half a dessert on one day? Does this include both lunch and dinner?” Looks like Maya and I have a lot in common 😀

    • December 12, 2013 6:31 pm

      So funny. I guess Maya does have a lot in common with you! Although the half dessert hasn’t been addressed yet.

      Just a matter of time?

  5. December 11, 2013 5:15 am

    Smiles…great pics 🙂

  6. Lydia permalink
    December 11, 2013 7:37 am

    I know what you mean. Kids, they always test you with their tricky questions. In my case, it’s not about desserts but about Wii/3DS-playing time. Finally I told them that Wii/3DS are allowed only in the weekends, if they keep asking me then there will be no playing time at all. So far the questions stop, we’ll shall see though 🙂
    Love the collage pics, both Maya’s & your hair look fabs, as always!

    • December 12, 2013 6:32 pm

      I guess this is the difference between boys and girls…girls want their chocolate, boys their video games. So funny.

      And thanks for the compliment Lydia!

  7. seana permalink
    December 11, 2013 8:11 am

    Life is all about negotiations. Try being married to an attorney.. Example…Him: Let’s leave at 6. I say no, how about 7. He says 6. I say how about 6:30. He agrees. And, I wanted 6:30 all along. I win 🙂
    Personally, I think 3 desserts a week is ok. Maybe even more if she eats healthy otherwise. (Don’t tell her I said this) I never put restrictions on my kids because for the most part they ate well and didn’t have weight issues. It’s not like they were gorging on cheesecake on a daily basis or anything like that. Maybe a peanut butter cup here or there, maybe some ice cream. It’s nothing I really ever thought of. Am I a bad mom for getting my daughter KFC as her birthday dinner? It’s what she wanted at age 8. She has since upgraded to filet mignon.
    Perhaps explain to Maya the concept of everything in moderation? Oh wait, that won’t stop the questions. Thus defeating your plan. Better yet, tell her she can have 3 desserts every 7 days and 1 or 2 Hershey kisses on the other four. How’s that for compromise? I would think a win for you.
    Enjoy the snow, for some reason NYC is getting more bad weather than us upstaters. Unusual.

    • December 12, 2013 6:35 pm

      Ali has mentioned in the past that he feels like he’s married to an attorney. I think I’d get along with your husband!

      I remember loving KFC. And then I watched this horribly disturbing documentary on their chicken suppliers and I FORBADE everyone in my family from ever eating there again. Ali still talks about their biscuits but knows better than to succumb.

      So cold here Seana. There are no words.

  8. December 11, 2013 9:27 am

    Maybe you need to draw up a contract of terms and have it reviewed by a contract specialist for loopholes? Totally kidding but with kids-they really question things you would have never thought of so it could be helpful!!

  9. December 11, 2013 11:20 am

    So funny since we love questions ever since little Little Man began stringing words together. If anything, we probably annoy him by asking him too many questions. I reserve the right to change my mind when he’s four and driving me nuts with questions.

    PS: Sugar covered pretzels are obviously a snack. Obvs 😉

    • December 12, 2013 6:36 pm

      Totally agree…the questions were cute when Maya was learning to speak. But then they never stopped! And I’m running out of answers. 🙂

  10. December 11, 2013 1:16 pm

    I myself have a love/hate relationship with desserts. God I simply adore them, but sometimes i look at my fat thighs and I wonder if its worth it… yes, it is…
    *kisses* H

    • December 12, 2013 6:37 pm

      You do NOT have fat thighs! I’ve seen you and you look fabulous H.

  11. December 11, 2013 1:47 pm

    hahaha Maya understands the system very well 🙂 love that collage of you guys together.

  12. December 11, 2013 3:12 pm

    “If I don’t use all 3 days in one week, can I carry over my days into a new week?”

    ^ A very logical question if you ask me 🙂

    When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to play video games or have soda or sugary drinks when we ate out at restaurants. Looking back, I’m thankful my parents were strict regarding those things. They did give me a lot of freedom in other things though. If anything, I ended up being more strict on myself!

    Love the funny face collage 😀

    • December 12, 2013 6:38 pm

      Funny…when I was a kid the only thing my parents didn’t care about was what we ate. They were strict about EVERYTHING else!

      Thanks for the compliment P!

  13. December 11, 2013 6:08 pm

    Oh Ameena – Maya eats Brussels sprouts – she should be allowed to eat as many desserts as she wants 😉 Oh wait – she might be too high on sugar and ask other questions anyways. Ill stop with my ideas.

    • December 12, 2013 6:39 pm

      Maya isn’t a fan of Brussels sprouts but she will eat most vegetables. And I am hard on her! But I know she has a lot of potential. 🙂

  14. December 11, 2013 10:43 pm

    The questions are slowly starting now with my 4 year old. I guess by the time Niranjan is Maya’s I will have to hire someone just to answer the questions. Loved the collage and Maya is too cute.

    • December 12, 2013 6:39 pm

      I’m thinking about hiring someone…it would certainly be a full time job!

      And thanks for the compliment Gayathri!

  15. December 12, 2013 5:20 pm

    Ha! My mom tried this on me when I was younger, she was totally strict. No soda or fast food (EVER) until I was in my pre-teens. Juice was always diluted. I turned out fine and I am sure Maya will be even better. 🙂

    • December 12, 2013 6:40 pm

      I hardly let Maya have juice…sometimes I think it’s worse than chocolate. So much sugar!

      Your mom was a smart lady. 🙂

  16. December 12, 2013 11:14 pm

    LOL. I burst out laughing at the carryover question. It’s crazy the questions kids come up with. So funny. Hope you guys are doing well. Stella looks good. And guess what, they closed Whym down. I was so sad seeing that.

    • December 22, 2013 6:36 pm

      So sad about Whym, although I’ve only been with you. Maybe something better will take it’s place.

  17. December 13, 2013 2:09 am

    Maya is an intelligent kid! I love the way she is really thinking about it hard to get the most of her sweets!! My parents were very strict; no juice, sodas or sweets too often, only at our grandparents house they let us eat anything!

    • December 22, 2013 6:37 pm

      I’m not a fan of soda but I do let Maya do juice and sweets in moderation. Hard to know what’s too little and what’s too much!

  18. December 18, 2013 3:17 am

    I just stick with arbitrary: Sure you can have dessert even though you ate an entire bag of cookies for snack.

    No you can’t have dessert even though you only ate vegetable soup and baguette for dinner.

    Because I said so!

    • December 22, 2013 6:38 pm

      Love it. I can be totally unreasonable – I mean – arbitrary too!

  19. December 18, 2013 11:20 pm

    Maya sounds like my cousin who is always bargaining for 5 more minutes – regardless of the activity! It sounds like she is just trying to figure out life, limits, etc. Good luck!

    • December 22, 2013 6:38 pm

      Maya does that too. Just now she asked for 5 more minutes before having to go to bed!

  20. December 19, 2013 4:44 am

    Forward Thinker or not, you certainly are progressive and reasonable. But just in case it comes handy, try “Because I said so”. Its an answer that Moms have exclusive rights to use. Usually the response it gets is an annoyed,”Awwwwwww…” but that’s it, lol!

    Cool idea with the funny faces collage – such a treasure for years later! Love it.

    • December 22, 2013 6:39 pm

      Thanks MWAD for the compliment! And you are the second commenter to mention the “Because I said so” response. I must take note!!

  21. December 21, 2013 7:53 am

    Maya sounds and is so adorable! My 7 year old has lots of questions for me too. Always bargaining.

  22. December 22, 2013 10:16 am

    Was I becoming obsessed that she’d become obsessed?***


    You can have several choc. kisses if they are dark chocolate, darling. Xx

    • December 22, 2013 6:40 pm

      Always dark. It’s the only kind of chocolate I eat!

  23. December 23, 2013 12:37 am

    hah!!! maya is adorable!!!

  24. December 23, 2013 6:27 am

    AAARGGGHHHH! The QUESTIONS! All the time, questions! Here it’s usually negotiating more video game time, or it’s some quantum physics detail he’s trying to figure out. So obviously I need to hire someone too!
    Happy Holidays!!

  25. December 24, 2013 4:31 am

    The funny faces! The negotiations! Oh my goodness, you and Maya make quite a pair. And you are certainly a forward thinker, Ameena! You are doing such a great job 🙂

    Stay warm (or cool, as the case may be the past few days!), and happy holidays!

  26. December 27, 2013 2:39 pm

    Ah, those things are so complicated.

    It became really complicated in our house for “choice of what to wear” last year with my then 6-year old. I got so tired of it, I took all her clothes out of her closet/chest, into my room, and from then on I would choose her outfit in the evening, put it on her bed, and all she had to do was to put it on in the morning. No negotiations, no complaining allowed. 🙂

    Interestingly, the whining stopped altogether. I think she was just overwhelmed with the choice, and I simplified her life. 🙂

    (She has now regained her right to pick her outfits.)

    • January 1, 2014 6:42 pm

      Brilliant HSH…really such a smart idea.

      I really want to do this – plan Maya’s outfits the night before. But somehow I cannot seem to find the energy to get it done the night before!

  27. December 29, 2013 12:33 pm

    I think Maya’s questions are totally legit. I mean I would have the same concerns about my dessert rations. It is an important topic, one which I think you are not giving enough thought :)Loved the funny faces pics. You girls totally rocked it!

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