My biggest battle as a mother comes in the form of an argument over snacks that I have with my 6 year old every. single. day.
As I am typing this, he has been sitting at the door to the pantry crying for the past 20 minutes. What got him to this point? The following conversation:
Him: I’m hungry!
Me: So eat!
Him: There’s NOTHING!!!
Me: There’s plenty.
Him: No there’s not!
Me: Well, then I guess you’re gonna starve.
Him: But I’m HUNGRY!
Me: So eat something
Him: BUT THERE’S NOTHING!
Me: Yes there is.
Rinse and repeat ad nauseam.
The pantry is fully stocked, as is the fridge, and the cabinets. There is food for days. If there were a zombie apocalypse, we could live for at least 2 weeks on all of the junk we have cramming the shelves in the kitchen. He can’t tell me there’s “nothing”. It’s like he’s kept a last but of his Terrible Twos and a dash of the Holy Fuck Fours on reserve and only unleashes them when it’s snack time.
I would rather pull out my eyelashes one by one than listen to him complain. I would rather sniff wet dog fart than have to sit here and repeat the same shit and get the same answers. I would rather listen to Gilbert Gottfried sing the “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” song all day long than have this same argument with my kid, but I’m still sitting here. I’m not getting up. I know there are people out there probably staring at their screen wondering “why don’t you just get up and get him something and avoid the conflict altogether? After all, it’s just a snack.”
IT’S JUST A SNACK.
In the grand scheme of things, what the hell importance does a snack have? I mean, I love food, but if the kid is absolutely losing his shit over not wanting to choose from the abundance we have and I just fold, what kind of message does that send? If I were to solve his problem just to shut him up, twenty or so years down the line he’s going to be the guy at Starbucks who throws his drink back through the window because the barista got his order wrong, or the douche in the check out line at the grocery store yelling at elderly people for taking too long. It’s the beginning of learning patience, perspective, compassion, tolerance. That not everything is going to go his way ALL the time. That he can’t always have what he wants. That some things just aren’t big deals. I know I’m not curing cancer or creating peace in the world, but I am raising a child who will grow up NOT to be an asshole who freaks out over stupid bullshit, and that’s pretty important, too.
We’ve all had to lower our standards and look again. Calm the hell down and realize we’re making something out of nothing. Those are the kinds of lesson I try to teach over here. And now, as I type this last sentence, the kid is munching on the mini wheats that were in the pantry he just claimed had no food.
The world has one less asshole….at least for today.
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