April 10, 2008

Left with a Sour Taste

I really hate begging. My kids don't beg. Not because they're better than anybody else's kids, but because I can't have begging - I hate being begged. I don't even like the word. Begging. Ew.

The truth of it is I might tend to be a wimp sometimes. You know me, I like to be nice. (Ew again.) A part of me might think of people who beg and whine: oh, what's the difference? I can't stand seeing them lower themselves to begging - just give it to them and be done with this ugly display. It's not worth it. And then I might get angry at myself for compromising like that, so I try and head that off before it happens and just say no to begging. I try.

Today I was begged and I gave in, hence the blog rant post. Now you get to hear my whining because I gave in to Naomi's begging. I'm sorry. Who's Naomi? A cute, cunning little girl in Sean's Kindergarten class who has a knack for pissing off all the mothers of children in Sean's Kindergarten class. (And beyond, probably.) I misfortunately ran into her and her father at the coffee shop on Monday and she begged him out the door, asking if Sean could come over. On Tuesday after school, she begged me to let Sean come over her house, but I said no. Today she begged again and I allowed her and Sean's friend Bobby to come over.

Right away Bobby cried because Naomi and Sean wanted to watch a movie. Then Naomi marched up, indignant, whining that Sean and Bobby wanted to play a video game. Sean was trying to please both and couldn't. It can't be done and maybe someday when he's 43 he'll realize that. Then Bobby refused (three times) to eat the lunch I prepared because he was crying again over some other "third man out" slight. Then I kicked all their little butts outside, where they played happily because there was no sap outside listening to their crap.

But before they went out, I took a call and while I was talking, Naomi begged me for one of the lemons in the bowl on my counter. I said, "No, not right now." She went out. Then they came in for something and she begged for the lemon again. I said, "No. I'm not going to give you a lemon." "Whyyy? You said...." Flippin LEMON!

THEN her mother called and said she'd be coming to get Naomi right away and I went outside and told Naomi. She responded, "Can I have a lemon now? You said I could. You said 'Not right now' when I asked you." I said, no, that I was not going to give her a lemon. THEN her mother came inside to get her and Naomi asked for a lemon again and I said no. And Naomi ran straight into the kitchen, got a lemon from the bowl and began to suck on the rind. I didn't say anything, hoping the mother had a clue. Okay, I already knew she didn't have a clue, but I caved to the uncomfortable situation. Her mother said, "Oh, she loves all sour things." Then she told me how times are rough, her husband's injured and she's going to try to be a nurse...you see, she quit college when her mother died.... I stood there looking into her squinty eyes, remembering the gossip I'd heard about her asking another mom for money. And then they left, Naomi skipping down the walk with my lemon.

People, tomorrow Naomi IS going to beg to play with Sean, you can bet on that. And in front of her mother, and on behalf of all the mothers standing there biting their tongues, and all people who hate begging everywhere, I am going to say, "Naomi. Yesterday I took you to my house and you took home one of my lemons after I told you no. Do not ask me again if Sean can play, Sister, because the answer is now and will always be - No."

Okay, maybe I won't say those exact words.

Maybe something more like, "Go suck your lemon." Or just nope. Or maybe I'll stay in the car and open the automatic side door for Sean to jump in.

Oh, and Bobby? He's hungry now thank you. He sent Sean upstairs to tell me he wants a grilled cheese sandwich.


rosemary said...

See, as a grandmother I can tolerate begging and whining for about 3 minutes then Naomi would have to wash dishes for the lemon and Aidan would not have gotten anything else to eat...and they would have been well on their way home before another minute passed and I would have told Gil...no Sean...not to EVER ask if either one of them could come over until he was possibly 43.

Paul said...

Not at our house...

We had kids once. We had foster kids for awhile. We were bigger than them then. We have grandkids now. We're bigger'n all of 'em.

Go ahead and tell her that first thing you threatened. Let us know how it turns out.