Not much is going on this week, as it's March Break. L has been fairly even-tempered for the past few days. Today was a little different though.
I'll start with a small back story. Awhile back, L wanted to get a bird. DH and I both said no, absolutely no way.
He asked again, many times. He even went as far as to write a plea, of sorts. He wrote some reasons why he thought he should have one.
Great effort, but I still said no. Too noisy, too messy, too expensive, and guess who would eventually end up looking after it?
Eventually he gave up asking, but not without trying. God, he was like a dog with a bone! I seriously wish he'd put that much effort into his schoolwork!
Then the boys got their fish. R's been through three so far, due to some virus, I think, but L's is doing well. He's a rather friendly fish actually, and comes up to the side of the tank when you come in the room. Oddly, during one of L's bedtime laments one night, he said he wished he hadn't got the fish, as he can't stand the thought of when he dies. I can understand the thought behind it, but its no way to go through life, not loving anything for fear of losing it. Luckily he's not like that most of the time.
Lately, he's been on an "I want a lizard" kick. Because I couldn't handle the thought of the persistent pestering and subsequent sulking again for another month or two, I agreed that if he could look after Richerd (yes, that's how he spells the fish's name, and who am I to argue, after all,it's a NAME, and people are always making up weird spellings for names) properly for the year, he could use his Xmas/birthday money to buy a lizard. However, he has to buy it all himself, he has to look after it himself, and somehow, he'll have to figure out how to afford the upkeep of it too. I was hoping he'd realize the frivolity of it all, but he's been researching for days. I just hope he forgets about it after a few months.
Anyway, I agreed to take him to a store that specializes in reptiles and amphibians. It's a pretty cool store to go into just to look around, kind of like a zoo. We spoke to the guy who worked there, and he estimated that the start-up cost for the lizard (either a crested or leopard gecko for a beginner) would be between $200-$250, including the animal itself. That was our goal in going there, to get a price estimate, but L was grumpy when we came out. He said it was a wasted trip, but I said we got exactly what we came for. I think he thought he would actually get a lizard.
Later, at home, he was fine while he helped me cook dinner. But at bedtime, he started in with wishing time to go faster, and when I disagreed, he started.
"I hate myself!" at which point I was already out of the room to say goodnight to his brother. He said something else but I didn't hear it clearly.
I ignored him, and proceeded to go downstairs, and he called out to me, "Mommy?"
"Why can't I have a better life?" and I said I didn't want to hear that.
Now tonight, I know, is a ploy for attention, and likely a stall tactic too. But it's led me to the grand conclusion that he has to have everything instantly. He can't wait for a single thing. This goes for something he wants, an upcoming event, a celebration, and even for anything new he tries. He has to be good at it INSTANTLY. This drives me nuts. I said to DH that I don't understand why at this age he still has this mentality. Even the three year olds I watch have more patience than that. At nine, he should certainly be able to see the bigger picture - the benefit of delayed gratification, the need for practise to make perfect.
DH pointed out that this is a better question for the therapist, and I shall have to remember to write this one down. Why is he still acting like he's 2 years old in this way?
Perhaps it's my fault. Maybe I've spoiled him over the years. I certainly didn't do it intentionally. I do know better, but I wonder if I started off great, but became more and more indulgent towards him as time went on simply to avoid his moods and tantrums. I've never (well I hope I've never) given into tantrums, but with the thought of "pick your battles to avoid giving in in the end", maybe I just started to adjust things so he either didn't have to wait for them, or I adjusted it so he didn't even know about something too far ahead of time. Does that make sense?
Food for thought.