Friday, June 13, 2008

Tell Me Again . . .

Mr. P and I have this frequent conversation.  It goes a little something like this - "So, tell me again why we had children."  "For the tax write-off and the occasional incentive."  "Oh".

Don't get me wrong, I adore my children.  I live and would die for them.  Unfortunately, it did not take them long to figure this out.  As far as they are concerned, I was put on this earth to service their every need and whim.  As a dear friend says, "My children's main vocabulary consists of, 'I want, I need, Where is, Go get' ".  

To be quite honest, there are definitely days that I would like to cart them down to the local IRS center, dump them on the doorstep and tell our lovely government that I am done and they can keep their lousy incentives.

My eldest child is usually a really good kid.  He's easy, funny, laid-back, and tends to go with the flow.  That is to say, when things are suiting his agenda.  The youngest cherub does everything with the energy of a nuclear missile.  She loves fully, plays hard, gives generously and always lets you know where she's at.  She also fights vigorously, holds a grudge, and needs to be bigger or better or right - ALL THE TIME.  When describing youngest child, we usually use terms and phrases that consist of "her terms, her time, her way" and "bigger, better, more"  But, I will save her story for later.

Recently, eldest child's cell phone broke.  It wouldn't charge.  And because of his supreme status as being close to a Divine Being (in his world) God Forbid he not be able to have instant contact at all times with his peeps - they have such important issues to discuss in Middle School (I wonder if saving the world ever comes up?), it needed to get fixed NOW!    He  has asked numerous times over the past week or so if I would take him to Verizon to see if we can get it fixed.  Usually, this would not be such an imposition for me, however, this is the third time and second phone later in the last few months that we have had this conversation.  My typical response to this request has been to say, "We will go this week" and the very next day, down to the Verizon store we trek.  Unfortunately for eldest child, I actually had important things in my own life to take care of that kept getting in the way of his agenda.  

Apparently, last night, he had reached wits end with me (the actual plug on the phone that the charger goes into fell out and he could no longer jimmy-rig it to work).  As Mr. P and I were settling into bed for the night, eldest child marched into our room and demanded that we take care of this issue before we head out for our weekend jaunt.  After trying to reason with him that our time schedule would not allow for this, he made the declaration that he would not be joining us, as he couldn't possibly leave town without his phone.  "That is fine," Mr. P replied.  "You can spend the weekend spreading the mulch your grandfather asked you to do about three weeks ago instead.  That way, you can earn the money to pay for the replacement of your phone." (And maybe learn a little responsibility too)  Surprisingly, he said, "Fine," called his grandfather and then marched off in a huff to his room.  

Mr. P and I looked at each other.  Me, perplexed and saddened by our argument, Mr. P satisfied that we had won this small battle.  "This is good, he can earn the money to pay for it himself, and will have to go a weekend without contact with his peeps, and maybe learn a lesson in the process."  

So needless to say, Mr. P, myself and littlest child will head out this afternoon sans eldest son for our weekend trip.  And as much as I am glad that he is taking the initiative to honor his commitment to his grandfather, and as glad as I am that he will learn the value of hard work for pay, and as glad as I am that I did not cave in to his whim -  I still wonder . . .  "Why do I feel so guilty?"

This is definitely one of those times that I would happily punch in the local IRS address on my little navigation system and drop Cherub #1 on the doorstep with the exclamation, "I am confused, I am harried, I am done!"  

But alas, this is not in the cards for me today, or any other day, because no matter how angry, hurt or guilty I feel, it does not take me long to remember the love and joy that both my babies can bring me.  And, really, I suppose that is what far outweighs the rest.  And, that, I suppose, is why we had children.