Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why I want to be my son's age

While sitting here at the computer, applying for an agglomeration of jobs, I realized I have not written in the blog (who coined the term "blog", anyway?  And why didn't they come up with something more appealing?) for quite some time.  Then, I realized, I actually have a story to tell...and I needed a break from looking at the computer screen before my eyes go wonkers.  Well, I am sort of taking a break, and instead of staring at the monitor, I am staring at the keyboard.  Yes, I only use three fingers per hand to type, and yes, I still need to look at what I am typing, unless I am feeling particularly brave and rebellious.  Hey, don't judge me!

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, my son and I came home from school and he promptly asked me if he could have a piece of candy.  I replied, "No.  Don't forget, today is a grounded day." which he, apparently, conveniently forgot.  This, of course, was met with frustration, huffing and puffing, a mediocre slamming of the door, mumbling incoherently about how we didn't tell him he was grounded, followed by the clicking of the door being locked, with him on the inside and me on the outside.  Fortunately for him, he thought twice and unlocked it about as fast as he turned the knob to block me from entering, so that little no-no was overlooked.     

Once I was inside and began taking off the layers of warmth, I noticed he left his hat and coat on the table and floor.  When I asked him (or rather, I strongly suggested he do so) to put them away just like I have for the past four years (and every other time he leaves his coat, hat, socks, shoes, gloves, toys, plate, glass, shirts, or anything else he thinks he might be able to get away with, lying around), he, of course, responded with frustration, huffing and puffing, and a mediocre stomping across the noisy floors while mumbling a little louder this time, saying, "Why do you and Mom always ruin my day?"

Confused, I asked him what he meant by that and how did I ruin his day, today?  After a quick re-think of his words, he tried to soften the blow to Dad by saying, "Mom is going to tell me to put her dish away after dinner tonight and I don't want to always be the one to do it and it ruins my day when that happens!"  Since 99% of the time it is me who has, somehow, managed to make his day miserable (most likely from telling him to complete the nearly impossible task of putting his socks and coat where they belong instead of leaving them in the middle of the floor), I was pleased to find out it was not my fault, this least not right away.

I tried to explain to this intelligent nine year-old that we work as a team and help each other out.  I then asked him what he would do if I did not fix dinner every which he replied, "I would fix dinner for you!"  Impressed with this answer, I probed a little further and said, "Oh yeah?  What would you fix?"  "That's easy, I'd fix Taco Bell bean burritos!" he quipped.

Bean burritos...yum...notice those three letters are not capitalized and they are not followed by an exclamation point.  No, I am not a big fan of bean burritos.  But, kudos to him for being quick! I thought about asking him how he would get to the nearest Taco Bell and how he would pay for the burritos, but I refrained from completely bursting his bubble so quickly.  Instead, I tried to let the air seep out slowly enough that he could see it unfold in midair. 

The point is, at his age, picking up his socks, doing his chores, and not being allowed to eat bean burritos every night is pretty much the equivalent of me wondering and stressing out about how the bills will be paid this month, figuring out how to acquire a job that will help pay those bills, and not getting to relax on the couch for an hour before bedtime.  Hmm, come to think of it, he doesn't get bean burritos every night and he is still "forced" to do his chores and pick up his socks, and despite not figuring out how to pay the bills, and not finding a job (yet), I normally do get to relax on the least for half of an hour, every night, so maybe I don't want to be his age!  After-all, he also has a Dad and Mom who make his life so miserable every day that they are the sole cause of him being fussy and whiny .  Nah, I like being the grown-up, for now.  When he is old enough to get a job, maybe then I will revert to his age (his age, now) and take him up on the offer to provide dinner for the family.  Until then, I will just continue ruining his entire day...

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