You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Dear Munchkin and Peanut,

When I was a kid and upset that I couldn’t have something, or I couldn’t have my way, my mom would often sing:

You can’t always get what you wa-a-ant.
No, you can’t always get what you wa-a-ant.
But if you try sometimes,
you might find
you get what you nee-ee-eed.

I can only remember getting angrier at her for what I felt was some kind of taunt, though I realize now there may have been a point in my life when I found it more amusing.

Perhaps somewhat ironically, I began singing it to you when you were still toddlers. I think it was a desperate attempt to quell a fit one day. I knew you loved music, and I thought singing might distract you enough to settle down. And it worked! Maybe that’s why Grammy sang it to me.

After a while, Munchkin started getting more upset when I sang to her, crying “Don’t sing! Don’t sing!” I complied, a little sad that its run had lasted only a year or so.

But recently, Munchkin has begun to sing the song to Peanut when he’s frustrated, in her own way:

You can’t get always what you wa-a-ant…

Daddy and I think it’s darling.

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