My sister and I met up for a sushi lunch yesterday, with my beloved, squeaky Andrew in tow (hooray for two weeks of Spring Break!). We ordered our food and proceeded to try and engage in meaningless conversation while Andrew proceeded to try and do everything you aren’t supposed to do in a tiny, cramped, dining room filled with other patrons.
Obsessed with an aquarium in the corner filled with bright orange fish, he squawked and he squealed to indicate his need to go visit the tank rightnow., and while I had no problem walking over there with him, I wanted to use this natural setting to generalize the one thing we can never get him to do beyond therapy, which is to wait.
I used our “First, then” model, letting him know that “first you need to finish your lunch, then we can go see the fish tank,” and he let me know that I should buzz off by arching his 50 pound frame and bursting into a rendition of his infamous whine, a sound that usually causes my eyeballs to bleed, followed by a lip twitch and a desperate desire to lunge myself in front of anything moving faster than 20 mph.
At this point I knew better than to continue with my therapy-based experiment, the whines gaining momentum, the other patrons beginning to hint at their displeasure by hurling their chopsticks at us like spears (hey, I can take a hint). I grabbed by little bundle of joy, sat him ever so gently upon my lap, and hurredly finished the tail end of my conversation with my sister, which must have been about a family member since my sentence ended with jack@ss (I offer only the best in quality conversation and dining companionship).
And then Andrew laughed.
I looked at my sister, looked at my son, and looked at the fresh sashimi, still untouched, on my plate. I pulled Andrew’s face close to mine and said “banana.” The whining immediately ensued.
I tried “chocolate.” More whining. I said “Willy the watermelon eating walrus.” Still, more whining (and more chopstick throwing).
And then I said jack@ass.
And he laughed again.
I’d like to be able to tell you that I did the right thing by asking for a to-go box and leaving the premises (and sticking my sister with the bill for our abbreviated lunch date), but this blog is all about telling the truth and honestly, doing the right thing can be so overrated sometimes, especially when fresh Hawaiian and Philadelphia sushi rolls are involved.
So instead I took the road less traveled (mostly because it’s a road reserved for awful parents), held my nine year old close to my chest, and every so often, in between delicious bites of my Japanese cuisine and shallow girl talk, I leaned in, and lovingly whispered “jack@ss” into his ear.
Judge me if you will, by leaving a comment below. I’ll be sure to send you a free, sample copy of Andrew’s impressive vocal range, including the ever popular “someone please stab my ears with the nearest sharp object you can find whine.” Extended version, of course.