“I love you too much to argue!”

That became my mindless mantra this morning at approximately 6:45 a.m. when my tiny 5-year-old daughter started arguing with me about whether or not she could give herself another tattoo – this time in yellow ink because no one would see it that way. OMG.

On Saturday, we were arguing about belly button rings after she got up close and personal with some college cheerleaders post-game and realized that they in fact had beautiful earrings located in their tummy. She asked how she could get one of those and I told her she needed to be 18. She replied with a wistful, “I wish I was 18…” statement, delivered while staring dreamily off into her distant teenage future.

Keep in mind that she attended said football game with a completely pink, glittery head. She did it herself with the washout pink hairspray I purchased from Claire’s Boutique – to of course offset her desire to completely, permanently dye her hair pink.

What is going on? She is FIVE.

And she doesn’t argue like a 5-year-old. I am pretty sure I was saying things like “but all my friends get to,” or similar at that age. Instead, she’s telling me how I need to let her be her own person. That it’s her choices. That I can’t expect her to be just like me (no tattoos, extra piercings or pink hair) just because she’s my daughter. How do you argue with that rationale?

These conversations terrify me. On one hand…I could be very firm and tell her “no” and establish now that she’s got boundaries she needs to respect. On the other hand…I could let her tattoo the crap out of herself with magic marker and get it out of her system.

But what if my being super stern results in her being super rebellious in her teenage years? And what if my being all free-spirit, “do what makes you happy,” results not in her getting it out of her system, but instead makes her feel extremely confident in permanent black lip liner and tattoos at age 16?????

This is why I sometimes (a lot) hate parenting. The possibilities for screwing up our children are endless. ENDLESS!!!

And that’s why I love advice from “Love and Logic.” One of the free one-liners they provide on their website is “I love you too much to argue.” And boy did I use that one this morning. I don’t have the answers. You maybe do. But just in case you find one day you don’t…try that fabulous “I love you too much to argue.”

And…pssssst…if you DO happen to have the answers to this particular problem I’m having with my 5-year-old…your advice is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Seriously…comments…email…tell me what to do!

Much Love! H

(originally published on LifesETC.com 9/27/16)