The “I Can Do Everything by Myself” Phase: I wrote this entire blog while I was waiting for him to put his shoes on

Dear God please help me not go insane. Dear God please help me not go insane. Dear God please help me not go insane. Because holy crap, I am about two seconds from going out of my F’ing mind and being strapped into a straightjacket and dumped into a padded cell. It started last week when I opened up the minivan door annnnnd…


Wait, what? When did you even learn how to open the minivan door? Well, apparently he did, and now if I forget and accidentally do it for him (which I do every time because I’ve been opening it for over four years now) it’s shitstorm central in our garage. And this isn’t the only thing he insists on doing.

Basically overnight Holden went from being this kid who wanted me to do everything for him to the kid who wants to do everything all by himself. EVERYTHING. And I know I’m supposed to be all supportive and happy that he’s trying to be independent, but he’s slow as molasses. And half of the shit he wants to do is impossible for him to do without my help.

Like yesterday I handed him an unwrapped granola bar and did you hear what happened? No seriously, did you hear it from where you are because I’m pretty sure the entire country could hear the fit he threw. I finally shoved the entire granola bar in my mouth, which of course made him lose it even more.

And then he wanted a glass of milk and insisted on pouring it himself, which is pretty much impossible since the full carton weighs more than he does and I’m hovering over him the whole time going…

ME: Do you want my help? Don’t spill it. Can I help you? Here, let me hold the glass. Be careful. BE CAREFUL!! Agghhh, NOOOOOO!!!!

And the whole carton of milk was suddenly pouring all over the table. And I was like why didn’t you let me help you?!!! But nope, God forbid I help him unbuckle his seatbelt or wipe his butt or wash him in the bath or get his jacket on or get the cookie out of the box, etc etc etc etc etc.

So I have to stand there and watch him do everything all alone. Like when he puts his socks on slowwwwwwwwwlllllllllllllyyyyyyy and… oh…. my…. gawwwwwwwddddddd… it… is… like… watching… paint… dry… in… a… rainforest… with… 100% humidity.

And then when he finally gets the socks on, they’re all saggy in the toes, and I know they’re going to scrunch up and be a problem when he tries to put his shoes on over them, but he still won’t let me straighten them and yup, here comes another freak out session.

So here’s how much time he needs to get ready every morning if he does it all by himself:


Which means we need to wake up by 5:57 to be on time to school. But really MUCH earlier because I have to get another child ready too and even though I wear pajama bottoms to carpool, I still have to put a bra on and get coffee.  But it’s okay because Little Mr. Independent wakes up at the ass crack of dawn. Oh wait, noooo, all of the sudden he’s started sleeping in. Agggghhhh, are you F’ing kidding me?!!! NOW is when you decide to sleep later?!!

Anyways, if you need me I will be in the corner huddled up in the fetal position wrapped around a bottle of something hard until this phase comes to an end. Or I do.

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And don’t forget to check out the AWESOME reviews for my newest book I Want My Epidural Back!! Except for the one reviewer who was super pissed I cursed a lot. Bwhahahahahaha!!


There are 17 comments for this article
  1. Evelynne Fletcher at 10:31 am

    hahahahahahahahagaspwheezegaspaaaaahhahahahahahaha I remember those times. My guy is 18 now and I call him Mr. Independent too. Yes they go through another stage of this. He has decided he doesn’t need my input on where he is going and what he is doing on his cell (that I pay for) as he comes into the kitchen asking whats for dinner and he has no clean clothes. Sigh….I would tell you to treasure these moments because you will miss them when they are gone but……..NOPE no you won’t.

    • Jenny Rarden at 11:24 am

      THIS. Yes, this describes it all PERFECTLY! Mine is 18 now too, just graduated high school. Urgh! LMAO

  2. Brandy at 11:17 am

    Oh my goodness….I read this and thought for a moment you were writing about my son! Haha. Thank you for these posts- its nice to know Im not alone! I can’t wait for this “Independent” phase to be over, yet terrified to move on to the next one, each phase seems to get more exhausting!! 🙂

  3. artwork234 at 11:26 am

    omg I rember some of those times babysitting it felt like a who in charge .an the days there were a lot to do was when they pick the day to pull that stuff

  4. Night Wolf at 11:42 am

    Sounds like the sloth scene in zootopia lol

  5. LorinNYC at 12:15 pm

    I loved the addition for the length of time but especially the part where brushing teeth is 17 seconds. However, for my 6yo the act of getting the tooth brush out of the drawer, putting tooth paste on the tooth brush takes 5 minutes. The actual brushing is in fact 17 seconds and that the one you where you say every time, “You are supposed to brush for until the light goes out on the timer and please stop swallowing the toothpaste.” Thank goodness for my older ones who just take 3 hours to unload a dishwasher and put their clothes away…is this sanity?

  6. Julie Mills at 2:01 pm

    You should be thankful he’s a quick pooper. What mine may do quicker in other areas he makes up for by being a slow (and inopportune) pooper.

  7. SuzyQ at 3:49 pm

    Tears are streaming down my face, laughed myself off the chair! Golden advice from my kid’s preschool teacher, to survive this stage concerning breakfast, place cereal and bowls in a drawer or cabinet down low so Holden can reach. For the milk, I poured some in a plastic pitcher with a lid, you know the pink one you can “borrow” from the hospital 🙂 This brought the spills to a minimum. Good luck, this too shall pass, until the next God awful stage. Hang in there. Love, love love, reading your posts, they always make me laugh.

  8. Jen at 6:42 pm

    Hahahaha! My 4-year-old is going through this phase right now, and my type A nature wants to revolt and do everything myself so that I won’t be waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and oh hell I might as well just change her name to Godot. I read this entire blog post while I was waiting for her to use the potty!!

  9. Jessica at 6:44 pm

    My son is the same age as yours and has insisted on being independent (or I forced him to be) for a while now. I like that I just have to tell him “Get dressed” – he picks out his own clothes from as assortment of t-shirts and silky basketball shorts- who cares if they match. Then I tell him “Brush your teeth” and he does (the whole length of the flashing lights built into the brush). Only thing he can’t do is tie his shoes or get his own food.

    A great helper with him pouring his own milk is to get one of those little Rubbermaid type pint sized containers with the red pour-spout lid, and just fill it and he can pour from it. We use those at the daycare I work at (and I have 10 2-year olds!)

  10. Julie at 6:57 am

    Twins! Times two! Plus all their messing around and bothering each other thrown in there as well.
    AND a recent HS graduate know it all that has all of a sudden decided he no longer needs me. Ahhh!!

  11. Tessa Martin at 12:14 pm

    I remember those times so well….because NOTHING CHANGES. It takes 16 & especially 13 sooooo looooong to do anything I swear I need a taser gun. Over 30 minutes JUST to put on her school uniform, seriously it drives me insane, instead I spend the entire time telling her to hurry up, I swear 99.9% of the time I want to go into her room and dress her myself just to speed it up! As for going anywhere…..forget about it. No matter how much screaming I do, we can NEVER leave on time, which means we are late to everything. Even when I get them up hours earlier we STILL end up late.

    • Asma Bari at 7:23 pm

      Omg haha I’m 16 too and the rest of my siblings will be in the car getting late for school because of me. It’s just so hard to find something to wear because all of my clothes are too old and I’ve worn a billion times and I’m standing there in front of my closet flicking through tops and dresses trying to find something that I wore 2 weeks ago so no one will notice that I’m wearing it again. I’m also way too tired in the morning to even get out of bed and my mom will be at the bottom of the stairs yelling at the top of her lungs for us to wake us up; it’s a legit miracle if I show up to homeroom on time. And the last bit of never leaving on time despite telling your kids from hours before, saaaaame. I’ll be on my phone texting or on Instagram until the last half hour where I’m rushing for an outfit and putting on makeup- still end up with the whole family in the car waiting for me an hour late. Sorry mom for being a terrible kid :/

  12. Dr Marcie at 7:59 am

    Sometimes sharing the story makes it feel a bit better – wonder if that was the case here. Just getting it out can help. Though if you want an idea about logistically how to make it better – determine, in advance, what you are willing to let him do himself and what you are going to help with. Then let him know and stick to it. Things like opening the car door, which is so automatic for you, let him know that is a grown up job and keep doing it. Find other things that are kid jobs and let him do them. While there may be some initial resistance to this and you may have to move through some yelling, if you stick to your guns he will learn that his behavior won’t change your answer. Good luck!

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  14. Staci Staler at 11:35 pm

    Hilarious, thank you. Can’t wait to read your book!

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