My Son’s Brush with Death
Beware of Legos! One set nearly took my oldest son’s life and we didn’t even buy it!
It happened the last time we went to Target. We had to get some household supplies and some stuff for a trip I’m currently on. My oldest, feeling morose because we had just released the last of the preying mantises, wandered over to the toys. And there he saw it.
It was one of those Bionicles – alien android looking creatures that you build and then make battle with. He saw one that was featured on some cartoon he once saw and KNEW he had to have it. Unfortunately, we were not there to buy toys.
He gave it a shot anyways.
“Dad? You know when that preying mantis died and you bought me that game? I was wondering if we could do that for the mantises we let go.”
This proved that my lesson on apologies was completely wasted.
He went on – “I saw this Bionicle over here – it’s only eight dollars!”
At this point, my wife chimed in with a lesson of her own. “this morning I kicked the last Bionicle we bought you because it was on the floor instead of put away. You don’t need any more until you can show that you can take care of the ones you already have”
We then went to pay for our stuff and leave. I figured we would end up buying the Bionicle later – we had already planned to pick up a couple of things for the kids to have while I was gone. Once he cleaned up his stuff it wouldn’t be a problem. It seemed like that was the end of the matter.
However, my wife realized she had forgotten the shower caps we needed to help treat my daughter’s lice (more on that story later – suffice it for now to say that the more activities you include to enrich the process of socialization, the more you realize that socializing has issues of its own) and went back in to check for them. The rest of us stayed in the car.
I turned on the radio and was just starting to relax when the boy spoke:
“Dad? I figured out a discrepancy with Mom’s story.”
I admit I was a little slow on the uptake, I didn’t know what “story” he was referring to and asked him what he meant.
“She said she had kicked my Bionicle, but she didn’t say she had put it back and the last time I saw it, it was right where I had left it…”
I listened to him. Slowly, I realized what he was saying – and what he was trying to do and how close he was to walking off a precipice into a pit of snakes.
He was going to call his mom a liar.
Worse, he was going to call her a liar to her face once she got back with the expectation that she would then go back into the store and buy the Bionicle for him. I don’t know how he came to the conclusion that this was a good idea
I didn’t have much time – his mom would be back any minute. I KNEW that if he were to live, I would have to get the reality of the situation across to him. I spoke quickly, but calmly:
“Son, you are getting ready to call your mother a liar. When you do this, life as you know it will be over. You understand that, right? She will go ballistic and the rest of this day will be dedicated to teaching you the error of your ways. She won’t buy you that Bionicle, she VERY likely will get rid of all the Bionicles you currently have and anything else that may be laying out as well. Oh, and if you think otherwise, consider when she has ever admitted she was wrong. I know I can’t think of any time.
“Personally, I figure if she says she kicked it, then she kicked it. Either she did it after the last time you looked at it or she picked it up and put it back without mentioning it. She DOES do that, you know. She picks up a LOT for you and most of the time she doesn’t mention it. Or at least she used to. Once you call her a liar, that will probably end. I figure instead of picking up for you, she will make you pick up whatever you left out and throw it into the trash just to make a point.
“Of course, you COULD just keep quiet. Don’t tick her off, clean up your toys and maybe later we can get that Bionicle for you. It’s your choice.”
He whimpered a bit, but when his mom got back in the van, he held his tongue.
But it still was a close thing. It could have gone either way. He HAS gone against my recommendations in the past.
Oh and for those of you who think this is some sort of socialization issue he has, it isn’t. Socialization is about learning about people and, being homeschooled, he knows his mom as well as any nine-year old CAN. He would be this clueless regardless of whether he went to school or did more extracurricular activities. It’s just his nature.