By Heather O.
J’s fondest dream came true today. He had a play date with his favorite friend.
DH and I have strong feelings about video games, and have decided not to purchase any for our home. I have no problem with him playing them at other people’s houses, however, and he spent a blissful hour and a half clicking away while his friend’s mom and I chatted about what colors she was going to paint her totally white walls.
When it came time to leave, J had a massive melt down because he didn’t want to go. Not unusual, of course, and we eventually made it to the car as he cried and cried about leaving the people he loves most in the world. And, naturally, the devastating loss of the Game Cube.
“I don’t have any kids to play with in my family!” he cried when we got into the car.
True, he doesn’t. The hyper dog just doesn’t suffice as a sibling, and any sibling we could procure in the future would be a pretty poor playmate for a while.
“I don’t have a Game Cube!” he wailed.
True, he doesn’t, for a variety of reasons.
“I don’t want to go home because I don’t have a tramp!”
True, he doesn’t. No particular reason, we just don’t. I’m rolling my eyes and trying to console him, half hearing him, half agreeing with him, half nodding my head, etc.
“I hate my toys! And I need more! I don’t have enough!”
At that point, I almost snapped. Not enough? Not enough? I’ll show you not enough. I told him sternly that even though we didn’t have the things that the other family had, I never, ever wanted to hear him say that he didn’t have enough.
He was stunned enough from my sudden switch in tone that he momentarily stopped wailing, and I wondered just what he was thinking. I was even mad enough to say, “If you don’t like your toys, I’m sure that we can find somebody who does.” Someday I’d love to honor that threat, just to see what would happen.
He was therefore silent, either too scared to say another word for fear of losing his toys, or because he found the half eaten bag of M&M’s he had opened earlier, and decided it needed finishing. Either way, no more wailing.
I’m trying to look at the situation objectively, and realize that this was a tired boy who was having fun whose life was interupted by his mother’s schedule. It’s close to dinner time, he had been running hard most of the day, and life was just a little too much for him at that point. It’s just a child talking, but still, it makes me a little sick to think that he can look at his entire playroom full of toys and say, “I don’t have enough.”
Maybe he picks that up from us, I don’t know. I’m sure there are plenty of signals I send out about not having enough that I’m unaware of. Still, I want to make sure that I don’t raise an ungrateful brat who decides that unless he has it all, it’s just not enough. Because with that attitude, he will always need more. And more is a scary word.
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