“You Can’t Win” By Chris Zito

It started simply enough. Some parenting magazine suggested, “making a game out of getting dressed.” In our house at the time getting dressed was already a game. It was called, “Will Vince Get Dressed Before Mommy and Daddy Die of Natural Causes?”


Kimi and I await last rites as Vince gets ready for school.

Certain things send kids into slow motion. Doorways of any kind practically freeze them in their tracks. Watch a kid as he gets into the car. He’ll walk right up to the open door and stop in his tracks.
His mother will say, “Get in, honey.”
No movement.
“Go on. Get in the car.”
Statue.
“For the love of God! TODAY!”
The kid begins moving again as though no time has passed. Just climbs right in. Why did he stop? Scientists have researched this for decades and come up empty. I have the answer. Children, starting as young at 20 months, just love to piss off their parents for no good reason sometimes. There is simply no other explanation.


Maybe they see something lurking in there that we don’t, but I doubt it!

We decided to give the whole “make a game out of getting dressed” a try. One morning when it was time to put on his school clothes I said, “Okay, Vince, we’re going to have a race. Let’s see who can put their clothes on faster, you or Daddy!”
Vince loved the idea. “I’m gonna win!”
I went to my room, got dressed and came back to his room. He was still working on his underpants.
“NO!!!!” he wailed. “I’m going to win.”


This kid is delighted with his progress. Guaranteed his parents are  not.

I realized if the game was going to work Vince had to win. We had a rematch. I took off my shirt in front of him. He grabbed his pants and put them on. I took off my shoes. He put on his t-shirt. I removed my socks. He put his on. By now I was able to start getting dressed again. He was still struggling with his shoes while I buttoned…my…shirt…oh…so…slowly.
“I WIN!!!” he shouted! He was happy. He was dressed. And I still had a few good years left.


The celebration inside Vince’s head.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.

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5 Responses

  1. good one. Literally, YOU cannot win at this one

  2. Not so much that they consciously want to drive us nuts it is just the only thing they have control over. Once they realize they can control what they do against the will of the adults it becomes a huge game to see how much they can get away with.

    And this is not just limited to kids…pets do it too LOL 🙂 Ask Judy she’ll tell you about my dogs…

  3. Maybe he can collect points for every win? Make it like a NASCAR season. He can with the Sprint Cellular Dressing Cup and use the points for a toy!

  4. lmao kids can be so cruel lol

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