Friday, January 20, 2012

Forever Young

Alex doesn't want to go to grow up. I get that. He lives The Good Life at home. I'm not strict at all about his time playing video games, and I don't trust him pouring his own milk, so he basically plays games while mom serves him. He plays about 3 hours of video games each day (more on weekends, I suppose), but he also gets exercise through basketball, swimming and terrorizing his parents, sister, dog and cats. He's HARDLY inactive. All we ask of him is to do his homework, brush his teeth, pick up after himself and to act kindly and respectfully. If he does those things, he can play all the video games he can fit in before 8:00 pm.

The biggest problem of this is that he doesn't see any reason to make it EVER end. He goes to school, of course, but not without a struggle. I joked with him in the car this morning that I was going to install one of those pilot ejector seats, so that when I pulled up to his school I could just pull a lever and he would shoot out of the car as I burned rubber out of the drop-off circle. He kind of laughed at first, but then he kept coming up with bad things that would happen if I did that, like what if he hit his head on the ground and died? It's just pretend, Alex, I'm just making a joke! Once he got that, he told me he would have two levers that would shoot mom AND dad out of the car so he could go in front and drive. Apparently, my ability to join in another's pretend scenario is about as good as his, because my response was "but you're too short to reach the pedals."

Well, since I still don't have an ejector seat to get Alex out of the car when we got to school, I was in for another whine session about how he wanted to forget school and stay home all day. My first response is the straightforward, "yep, I know you do, but you can't." I'm still dreaming of the day that he'll sigh , give me a mopey "I know", and go into school. In the meantime, I have to tell him why he can't forget school and go home - for the 300th time.

"Well, if you did stay home, I'd make you do school work anyway."

"All day?"

"As long as you spend at school."


"So you get a good education to gain the skills you will need when you're a grown-up."

Oh, crap, I've just found myself in a circular argument. So now I resort to humor and silliness, which is really where I should have started.

"If you don't grow up, who will take care of you when I'm too old?"

Mom affects a little old lady voice: "Alex, please come in here and change my diaper."

Alex ignores me.

"Alex, please bring me some warm broth and spoon it into my mouth."

Then, to show me how well I've raised my son, he jibes back:

"I'll just get one of those horns and blast it at you. Go get your own food, you old lady!"

Sweet boy.

Finally, I remember the key to getting this stubborn lazy-boy out of the car. I tell him he gets out, or he rides the bus next time. Just like an ejector seat.

Darn crossing guard letting a couple kindergarteners go across the street prevent my leaving skid marks, though.

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