Friday, September 16, 2011

Michael, Master Negotiator

Michael. The boy is too much. He’s trying his hardest to ensure that he will have some sort of birthday recognition this year. He keeps giving me the boo-boo eyes, asking tentatively if he can have his birthday back and sadly I have to remain adamantly against it. It hurts not being able to celebrate this year, especially since ten is such an important birthday—moving into double digits. Oh the joyous pre-teen years…But, he’s done what he’s done, his punishment has been set, and we have to follow through. He has to learn some way and he also has to learn that what Bill and I say as his parents really does matter. Even if it breaks my heart. Parenting can really be the pits some days.

So, the worry is setting in. Michael is trying to find ways around the No Birthday decree and has started soliciting for presents elsewhere. Seriously. I overheard him telling our next door neighbors that he wants Gogo’s and Hot Wheels for his birthday and reminded them of the date. We have super sweet neighbors and no doubt Charlene would actually go to the store and buy him something, unawares of his grounding, so I had to send Bill over to ask her not to buy any gifts. Now if that doesn’t make you feel like the scummiest parent ever, I don’t know what would! You may as well have ‘EVIL’ in red stamped right across your forehead! But, Charlene has two little ones—someday when they’re older and rebellious pre-tween heathens, she’ll understand the frustration.

Our Michael is also a little money miser. He wants money for everything! Don’t we all? And with our new behavior and chore chart, he is able to earn some allowance, which inevitably will burn a fierce hole in his pocket and send us rushing to Wal-mart to buy the coveted Gogo’s and Hot Wheels that he’s been trying to solicit from the neighbors! First, however, he has a little debt to us that he has to pay off before he can go on his shopping spree, and so he’s endeavoring to earn as much as he can as fast as possible to get that paid off before some other more fortunate child buys out Wal-mart’s entire stock of Gogo’s and leaves him enviously empty-handed. Doing chores isn’t earning him cash fast enough, though, so he’s begun negotiating other terms, or at least trying. I haven’t been buying. He wants money for doing his homework. Nope. He wants money for scoring well on quizzes. Nope. He wants money for getting strikes and spares at bowling. Mmm, nope. Really? Bribe the kid to bowl better? I do know parents who do that…as much as I don’t understand it. He’ll offer to do chores to earn money, but it has to be a chore he actually wants to do—which we haven’t quite figured out what that might actually be yet. Pick up dog poop—doesn’t wanna do it. Pick up the sticks around the yard—doesn’t wanna do it. You know, they’re not chores if they’re fun! So, we’ll keep trying. In the very least, he’s learning some excellent negotiating skills if he ever decides to head into the business route later in life!
An oldie, but a goodie--this has to be my all time favorite picture of Michael, so silly and cute, the essence of Bugalicious!

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