We all know it happens. I just didn't think it would happen so soon.
"But, Mommy, Ethan watches that show!"
"Well, Bjorn - you're not Ethan. And I don't want you watching Spongebob Squarepants/Barney/Ridiculousness."
Peer Pressure is already here with what TV shows his friends are watching (Spongebob), what toys they play with (ambulance/fire trucks), what T-Shirts they wear (Iron Man and Batman) and how many hot dogs they were able to stuff in their mouths at lunch.
It's a little exhausting constantly telling him that he is not his friend Ethan, or Jamie or Michael. That he doesn't have to do or be or have anything just because his friend does. I know it will only get worse from here, but I imagine that reasoning with a 13 year old about why he can't own a $200 pair of shoes has to be less futile than reasoning with a 3 year old why he can't have one.more.freakin'.Lightning.McQueen.car.
But not all peer pressure is bad.
When our little Bjorn was just starting regular milk, our pediatrician recommended we put Carnation Instant Breakfast in his milk to boost his calorie count. Almost three years later and we were still putting CIB in his milk - because if we wanted him to drink his milk, it had to be chocolate.
Until his best friend came over and told him how much she likes white milk.
"I only dwink white milk, Bjorn. I like it."
And then so did he.
Or when all he wanted to wear were socks and running shoes, even in the 118 degree Phoenix heat, and his room smelled like a sweaty locker room every time he took off his shoes because whoever said that babies and toddler don't sweat lied. They do. Especially in Phoenix summers. But Bjorn wouldn't even think about wearing a pair of flip flops or sandals.
Until he saw his friend Will wearing a pair of Crocs when he was camping.
Two years later and he still calls his Crocs his "Will shoes".
Sometimes it worries me. I mean, if he is this moldable at 3, how will he be at 13? Or 17? Will he still want a toy or those shoes because his friends have them? Because he saw it on a TV show or commercial? If his best friend jumped off a bridge, would he follow?
And then I think, "I'll worry about that later. Right now, I'm going to tell him Ashlee still takes afternoon naps and maybe I can get him to take one too."
Parenting at its finest.