A year ago we inherited some “This End Up” furniture complete with a side table attachment for one of the chairs. The boy loves this attachment, which affords him the opportunity to eat food in front of the television, regardless what we say about the matter. Tuesday night was no different. After making himself a bowl of cereal he said to himself “Stand up. Place both hands firmly on either side of the bowl. Make sure bowl is level. Walk slowly…” Seated at the table next to him I said, “No. Back up and sit down at the kitchen table to eat”. Instead of following my pearls of wisdom he stutter stopped for a moment before he replied, “No. Communications array is down. Must continue moving forward.” And continued his slow walk out of the kitchen. I couldn’t help but laugh-not that he was disobeying me, but rather in how he phrased his answer before continuing on… “Slow and steady. Almost there. Nothing spilled yet….famous last words, I know. Success.” Once he made it all the way without spilling, his father, who happened to be seated in the living room asked, “What is that and why aren’t you eating it in the kitchen?” The boy straightened up and then smiled at his dad and said, “Um, Frosted Mini Wheat cereal” and then sat down and began eating.
The boy has an essay due of Friday which if written well, could increase his odds at earning an additional scholarship for high school. Getting him to write a voluntary essay however, has been a war of wills. He sat down last week and wrote (in effect), “Let’s face it times are tough, my parents are broke, we need the money”. “Um bay, you realize you can’t say that…” I said pointing at the Wordperfect document. “Okay, I’ll add that I want to study animals and become a writer…” he suggested. “Buddy, you have to sell yourself a bit better and telling them ‘we’re broke’ doesn’t cut mustard. Everyone is broke. Talk instead about how you believe the education you’ve received so far has set you on a better path for high school and what you expect the high school education will do for you…” I swear, as I tried to explain, I watched his eyes gloss over and his mind drift off into the atmosphere. “What you don’t realize boy is I’ve been on the committee that picked out the winners of these essays the past seven years…I know what they are looking for….trust me.” Instead he said, “No, you just don’t believe in my writing ability” and walked out of the room.
Whether its a ploy on his part to get out of re-writing his essay or just trying to make me feel bad…one thing is very clear…he’s frustrating the heck out of me!