Too Much of a Good Thing…

By Jeremy Meltingtallow


I have control issues. There. I said it. In fact, I’m a bit of an obsessive/compulsive head case. Well, maybe not that bad. I don’t check five times in a row to make sure I locked the door or anything, but I’m a perfectionist and pretty orderly. I freak if my kids get below an A- on any given test, and I hate flying…for lack of control, of course. If I could compare my personality to that of anyone’s, it would be the character “Monica” from “Friends.” I even have her relentless cleaning tendencies. I stop at the competitiveness thing, though. Hey, I’m not crazy.

But I have to be especially careful around my kids. My husband already accepts my control-freakazoid personality, but I don’t want to be one of those overbearing helicopter parents. What I need is to find a happy medium — and with my genetics, that’s hard to achieve. I’ve already started doing what I swore I’d NEVER do…nag. I guess it’s unavoidable, though, as my kids need to hear everything at least 200 times before it sinks in.

Where I do draw the line is with art projects. I know it seems contrary to my profession, but I rarely take control here. I learned my lesson when my daughter’s first diorama started looking like an off-Broadway set (due to my art direction). My husband had to tell me to remove props. Better to leave the teaching to the experts. In fact, my kids are now in a weekend art class and, thankfully, love it. I remember my mother – an amazing painter – did the same thing with me and I thank her for that. I probably would’ve strangled her. As my kids would with me.