Bunkering Day 3: No Milk, No Eggs, No Problem
Ax says he just wants to stay home. It took half an hour of negotiating to get him to do the one errand I had had had to do yesterday — take his first grade registration papers to school, the morning after the deadline. He refused to get in the car the day before and I called for an extension. We had to do it — a seven minute errand, okay maybe twelve minutes, door to door, with the walk to the office for dropping the papers.
Ax wailed, “You always say it will be just one errand and there’s always more! I just want to stay home!”
He was right. I do tend to try to make one more stop or squeeze in one more thing. I felt his exhaustion. And I was feeling compassion, but also a fair amount of frustration.
“I’m sorry. You are right. Let me prove to you this time that it will be one errand.” And in my mind I’m thinking it would be really nice to have some watermelon and greens in the house. And yogurt. Which would be just a quick second stop. Bad mama.
“I promise,” I said, “Just to school, drop this off, and home. You can stay in the car.”
“I just want to stay home.”
“Buddy, I need your help. We have to do this one thing and then we can stay home the whole rest of the day.”
“Why didn’t you do it yesterday?”
“We were home yesterday and you didn’t want to go out.”
“But you were out in the morning.” — When I left him with our cleaning person for an hour meeting.
“I wanted to get home to you quickly. I should have done it on my own then but I didn’t. I didn’t know you were not going to want to go out. I’m sorry. Come on let’s just get this done and then we can relax.”
“Fine,” he said, and got in the car, feet dragging, head down, as if being sent to war rather than a six minute car ride.
In the car, I said, “You know I try to do as many errands as I can without you, but sometimes I need you to come too. We do these things for the family and you are part of the family. It’s not only my job it’s your job too as part of the family.”
I wasn’t exactly sure what I was saying — defending myself for not taking care of absolutely everything so his world could be all play, feeling angry that he was such an entitled little shit and needing to right-size him, reminding him that we all have to do stuff we don’t want to do from time to time. Now, in retrospect, I could have been more loving and talking into his sadness, meeting him where he was rather than so much pushing.
I suppose it didn’t matter that much. He was stewing, not listening. We got the errand done, came home, and had a sloth day. I made him pasta marinara with edamame for lunch and I had quinoa with lentils and braggs, stuff we had in the house. I’m gonna keep going.