Thursday, December 17, 2009

Parenting in Purgatory

I am going to start by rationalizing my decision.

I was the good father for most of the day. I took my 4 year old to swimming lessons. I put the Christmas tree up (Karen has allergies so we went artificial last year) and I attended the 2nd grade Holiday Concert at Will's school.

What? You expected to write something snarky about being crammed into a cafeteria with other parents?

You expected me to comment on the mom who had so aggressively snapped pictures she may have been mistaken for a member of the Paparazzi?


This is about me (you are not surprised about that).

After school on Thursdays I normally take Will to a math study/geek session at our YMCA and the class starts at 5:45. This is part of my ongoing plan not to have my son turned into a typical slack-jawed American (more on that in future posts). Tonight was different. Gentle reader, if you live in this area you may have noticed it was cold and excuse me if I use the term "balls cold". During dinner I looked out the window and it was dark. My decision was clear. I wanted out. I wanted to bail. I did not want to leave the house again this evening.

I looked at my boy. He was happily eating his meal.

Me: "It looks cold outside."

Will: "I have a really warm coat."

This is true. He has a better coat than I do.

Me: "It looks reeeeaallly cold. You don't really want to go to math tonight do you?"

Will: "I love math!"

At least the system was working.

Me: "Let's make a deal."

Will looked at me not knowing what to think. I liken my parenting style to the running of a Gulag. OK maybe not that bad but Will was not used to actively negotiating with me.

Me: "What can I do so that we can stay in tonight?"

Will thought and looked at the sweet potato I had just started to eat. Will likes sweet potatoes.

Will: "I want a sweet potato."

Me: "Deal"

Now I had other sweet potatoes already cooked. I got up and gave him one.

He looked and it and then he looked at me.

This is where I made my mistake.

I smiled.

His little monkey brain figured out that if I was really happy with the deal then he must be getting played.

Will: "No deal."

Me: "Huh? Well... what else do you want?"

It was his turn to smile.

Will: "I wanna watch a show."

I weighed my options and figured out he hadn't watched a lot of TV today and another half hour show will not give him permanent brain damage (though it won't help).

We shook hands.

Me: "Deal"

I got up and started to wash the dishes. I turned around and Will was still smiling.

Did I just get played by a 7 year old?

1 comment:

  1. You have been played, friend. John L.


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