Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

How can a kid learn how to guilt me?

"Oh my gawd, Becky, look at the Girl's goosebumps. They are so big."

She is sitting next to me, blowing on me as hard as she can because she's COLD and maybe blowing cold air on me will warm her up. But what she's really doing is avoiding doing the dishes, again. Oh yeah, you can say you're tired and cold till the cows come home, but the damn dishes have to be done.

Anyhow... this isn't really about her, it's about the Boy. I was visiting my friend Jean today with the Girl and we got on the subject of how the Boy guilts us into doing what he wants. It dawned on me, he uses real live Jewish guilt, the kind of "never mind, I'll just sit here in the dark" kind of guilt you see in Woody Allen movies. But, what's weird is that he has no grandparents so he hasn't learned it from them, and I don't use that guilt method at all. Ever.

So, is it genetic? Could it be one of those weird things that is passed from one generation to another culturally?

He's a master at it. "That's OK. You can go if you want." with his arms crossed over his chest and this look of malevalent superiority on his face. It's the tone that gets me. Because when I hear that tone I know that if we do what I want and he doesn't get his way, we're all going to suffer and suffer big. "Can we go now?" "I want to go home." "This is so stooopid." "I'm tired, I want to go home." It drives me frigging NUTS and it sets off the Girl like there is no tomorrow.

He pulled it with me in the library today. First, he woke me up early and started nagging non-stop for me to get up and take him to the library. But I was not quite finished with a book that needed to be returned, and I wanted to finish it, so I refused to budge until I had finished the book. This resulted in pretty much non-stop nagging until we finally left for the library.

When we arrived they had a gorgeous exhibit from our city photography club at the entrance and I wanted to see it, but he was really anxious to hit the 3rd floor to take out some videos and CDs. So he started right in. I finally sent him upstairs alone and went through the exhibit on my own. When I got upstairs, he was annoyed because he didn't find a lot of stuff he wanted to take out, and of course guess whose fault that was?

Of course I had no trouble finding anything. I got my requisite 6 items, and sat down to wait for him. Then I told him to accompany me down to the new book section, where I find the majority of books that I read. The moans started as soon as I wanted to do something that didn't fit into his plans.

We get downstairs and he flops into an upholstered chair and starts glumping. "Can we go?" "I'm tired, I want to go home." "I'm hungry." " I'm starving." blah blah blah. I tell him to find a book. He's not interested. "There's nothing to read here. They have the same books every week." Glump glump glump.

Meantime, I'm pulling books off the shelves left and right. I keep showing him books that I know he'd like, but NOOOOO. "Can we go now?"

I find a brand new Adrian Mole book. He doesn't even want to look at it. I make him take it out. He's now totally pissed off because he wants to get out now. I make him look at the sections I know he likes, the non-fictions books on movies and music. He can't find a thing. I'm incredulous. This is what I found in hardly any time at all:

Cell by Stephen King (my first ever King novel, but I'm reading it on Belinda's recommendation.)
Boy Crazy: Keeping your daughter's feet on the ground when her head is in the clouds
The Cradle Robbers by Ayelet Waldman
Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction by Sue Townsend
Hand Me Down by Lee Nichols (wrote Tales of a Drama Queen)
The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant by Pablo Tusset
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
Why Do I love These People by Po Bronson

Now, if I can find all this in a few minutes, you would think he could find SOMETHING. Nope. They have nothing. Nothing at all.

Because what he wanted was to get home and immediately watch a DVD he had taken out. And he was going to guilt me into thinking he's starving and exhausted until we left, because he must get what he wants at all cost.

The kid knows me a bit too well, and he knows that I'll rush through anything to get him to stop the glumping. I gotta get stronger. I need an iron backbone, methinks.
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Blogger FuzzBuck Fuzz said...

Books??? Books??? In my day we considered ourselves lucky if we found a discarded sweety wrapper on the floor to read. Some of them even had the flavour still - that was when u knew it was your lucky day, a meal and an education all at once.

Michele sent me to say that ;)

8/4/06 11:28 PM  

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