You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Every morning now as I prepare her breakfast, Booger asks me for “sumting elf.” Not a species of fairfolk, no, rather, two-year-oldese for “something else.”
So when it comes to food, a play destination, or outfits, I’m a magician with a hat, hoping to pull a rabbit or flying gerbil from the depths in an attempt to amaze and mystify her.


Offering choices, long the bane of parents everywhere, has not been the right course of action. Nothing satisfies her and her tone grows insistent with each rabbit. “No. Sumting Elf.”


Me, (tap dancing and doing the splits): How about this? (profferring a cracker)

Booger: No. Sumting. Elf.

Me: This? (balancing a chocolate cake on my head)

Booger: (with long-suffering sigh) NO. SUM. TING. ELFFFF.

Me: (pretending to pull a poop from my butt): Howzabout this?

Booger: Mama! S-u-m-t-i-n-g E-l-f.


It’s not good for my ego. Anything I give her is turned down, and right about the time I’m completely defeated and ready to start cutting off bits of my flesh for her rabid and fickle palate, she’ll usually go back to the first thing I offered her. “Toast.”


Really? I’ll say. Toast? Not the cake, the cereal, the applesauce, the soy cheese, the latte?
Just toast?


So then she’ll eat her toast, innocently, as if she weren’t the two-year-old ball of contradictions that she is, and soon she’s ready to get dressed.


And as I hold up her yellow cellophane romper with spaghetti suspenders, I’m not at all surprised to hear, “Not that, mama, Sumting Elf.”


Ah, existential angst. Not even the two-year-olds are spared.


10 thoughts on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want

  1. But if you try, sometimes you might find you get what you need.

    Anyway, kids? Especially of the girly variety? Just want to have fun…wait, no. They just want to explore their options is all. They need to know that they’re getting the best elf. Or sumting.

  2. i like to call on song lyrics for moments like this for my son. for this one, i would have either used the stones (and i see that steph already read my mind) or joe jackson (you can’t get what you want til you know what you want).

  3. Ah yes, the fickle nature of kids. My kid can zero in on the lamest toy in the aisle and not be dissuaded but when it comes to snack time? Mine is exactly like yours.

  4. i love her exasperation with your complete ineptitude for proffering sumting elf. maybe she really does want to try a little bit of roasted drawf (elf) on toast?

  5. You need a box with “Sumting Elf” on the front, Cheerios inside. When she asks for it, give it to her.

    That’s just the cruel mommy in me pulling pranks on innocent children.

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