The Unrelenting One

I have a child (whom I love dearly), who never stops asking me for things.  I mean never. I’m not sure how this happened, but here we are.

Days I pick him up from school, without fail, the first thing he says to me is, “Can I buy something?” Every single time.

He’s been saving his money. It’s burning a hole through his pocket. He tells me he’s rich, and he’s already picked out exactly what he wants, which includes more Legos. You’ve got to be kidding me.

After I shoot down his request, and remind him, once again, that we save our money, not just spend it on useless crap (I’m paraphrasing, of course), he argues with me, usually kicks something, and then follows his outburst with a barrage of other requests. Yesterday, just to give you an example, that request centered around ice cream sandwiches, as in, can I bring ice cream sandwiches to baseball practice for the snack?

First of all, I find it utterly ridiculous that every baseball practice has to end with a junky snack.  Am I the only one who finds this a little contradictory?  But such is the world we live in, where children believe they must continue to eat as they did when they were babies, and so we have ready made snacks on hand at all times.  Second, it wasn’t even our snack day (yes, there is a schedule), so, I would not be bringing ice cream sandwiches.  He met my no with unrelenting opposition.  But what would a day with Second Son be like without opposition?

No, is his word of choice. Can I have, insert something that I really don’t want him to have or do, a close second.

His constant pleading follows me throughout the day, in the car, first thing in the morning, last thing a night, on vacation, all the time, everyday, everywhere.

Let me just tell you, it can really wear a girl down.

What’s worse, 99% of the pleas have to do with food.  I tell him were going away, he wants to know what junky snacks he can bring on the plane, will we eat at McDonald’s?Can we get Rita’s Water Ice?  And, will we go to a fancy restaurant?

Easter is coming.  A holiday, in his mind, that rivals Halloween.  He’s been giddy for the last two weeks counting down the days.  His love affair with junk food has been long, constant,and always ends the same, with a loud crash and  burn.

His best memories revolve around food.  “Remember in Disney when I had that giant popsicle?” Seriously?  We went to Disney and all you remember is the giant popsicle you begged me for for an hour, before I finally relented because I felt bad you were too small to go on Splash Down. (Granted, he does look happy.)

I’m starting to feel like he measures my love by not only what foods I give him, healthy=hate, junky=love, but what I’ll buy, and do for him.

Water. Juice. More pancakes. More syrup. Sugar toast. Can I have a cookie?  Can I play iPod? Can I buy a toy? Can I have dessert?  Can we go to McDonald’s? Can I take a shower? Can you do this for me? Can I play computer? Can you come here? Can you fix this?  Can you make me…? It’s a never ending string of demands, which I might be able to better handle if when I said, no, I didn’t have to endure the aftermath.  Because the only path to happiness and serenity is letting Second Son do exactly as he pleases.

Here’s the funny thing.  His time with me, completely different than his time at school, where he’s been described as compliant, social, happy. Bastard.

Do you know, the other day, he had a half day, so I picked him up from enrichment, early, and dropped him off at school.  Before we left enrichment I asked him if he had to use the bathroom.  He said, no, like he resented the fact that I would even ask him a question like that.  Five minutes later, we walked into his elementary school. His class was lined up in the hallway, ready to go on the playground.  I gave him a kiss goodbye, but then hung around a few minutes just to observe, since I’m always curious to see how my sons behave at school.  This is what I saw:

Teacher:  “Hello, Second Son.  Why don’t you put your book bag down and go to the bathroom before we go out to the playground.”

Second Son:  Pleasant smile.  Puts his book bag down and happily skips off to the bathroom.

Me:  (in my head) WTF?

He didn’t even hesitate, let alone let out one of his high pitched, whiny, no’s.  I know I should have been proud, but really, I was just insulted.

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