Testing Testing 123 Testing
In the midst of Charlie requesting, requesting, requesting, requesting and requesting with one "I want yes I want" after another, it occurred to me—reflecting on previous experiences in which getting him just what he was asking for led to a bad encounter of a brownie box kind—that it's possible that there's some adolescent, testing of the limits (especially the parental limits) going on here. Possibly.
That mayhap Charlie's trying to see how far he can push his parents before they say the equivalent of "that's it."
(Like you never did that to your parents when you were in the throes of adolescence.)
Monday Charlie and I were in the white car. Jim, having spent the day bringing in the white car for a tune-up and then picking up Charlie and doing a walk, had gone to his office to get some work done. We were tooling around our neighborhood and I knew Charlie would be thinking about going to the supermarket, as it was the time of day when we've so often done that.
I repeated a few of his "I want's" and said, "yeah, yeah, yes." I talked about how Gong Gong and Po Po are coming tomorrow (i.e., today). I asked Charlie where I was going soon.
"Sushi," said Charlie, and I talked about how we did indeed have sushi at home, not to mention a host of other things. I didn't talk, and listened to Charlie.
We pulled into the driveway and I turned the key to "off," and sat for a few seconds, then got out. Charlie sat for a bit longer and then said "no sit in car."
"Ok," I said and opened his door. He got right out and, once inside, I laid out the sushi and some other things for him in the kitchen and poured our some rice to cook on the stove. Charlie picked up the sushi and set it down, turned to me and said "Bedtime." And clomp clomp clomp up the stairs it was to his room.
Charlie had been yawning in the car. I thought of what might have happened if we'd gone into the store: He was tired (he hadn't gone to sleep on Sunday night till 11pm and Saturday had been a late night too). The bright lights and the rows of equally bright, overly colorful packages and the myriad noises (from people, from the freezer cases, from the shopping cart wheels) did not make for a good mix with a tired, highly sensitive boy. Maybe, I thought, he really didn't want to go into the store and endure all that but ritualistic compulsion was compelling him to ask. I responded, but didn't feel compelled to go.
And judging by how fast Charlie fell asleep on Monday night, he was ok about not having to go, too, and maybe even relieved.