Thursday, 28 March 2013

When a treat is not a treat anymore

Today was Sashimi's piano lesson day.  I dropped iBean off at my parents' place, Keesadilla wanted to tag along, and off we went.  On the way, the usual question was asked: Mommy, can we get a treat after? To which I replied my usual: If you're good, maybe.
Emphasis on the MAYBE.
Well, the kids were alright during the piano lesson.  Sashimi was great, Keesadilla was good, too. But on the way out the door, I asked Sashimi to hold his piano book-bag.  He adamantly refused: No! You do it!
I sternly repeated: Please hold your bag.
Again, he retorted: NO! YOU DO IT!
I put the bag in his hand, and forced him to carry it.  He took it, quite begrudgingly. Then he muttered something else about how he has to do EVERYTHING and I was being rude to make HIM carry his OWN BAG.
True story.
So when he got into the car, he said: where are we going for our treat?
I bluntly stated: You are not getting a treat.
Instant dismay and rude utterances: You can't do that! That's not FAIR! You promised and now you're breaking your promise! You said if we were good, and I was good at my whole lesson! You're rude and disrespectful! You are the worst mommy ever!
I glared into the rear-view mirror. Keesadilla cried quietly to himself, because he had been good. He was deserving of a treat. If I so decided to get one. But the other spawn was definitely not.
And then, before I even knew it, I spat out: Well, if you are going to continue to talk to me like that, I may just take back all the easter chocolates you would have gotten, too.
Repeat mad outbursts, also adding: You CAN'T do that! It's Easter!
As if the fact that Jesus rose from the dead means that kids can fly into total anarchy and commit the deadly sin of gluttony over mini eggs and 10 lb chocolate bunnies. Cuz THAT's what Easter is about...sugar highs and chocolate bunnies.
Then, because I have no filter, I said: When I was a kid, we didn't even have all the Easter treats that you get!
Which is a total buttload of crap.  I think I had a 1 lb solid milk chocolate Mickey Mouse at my first Easter.  When I was one month old. But my brain shot it out anyway.  And then my mouth allowed it to be vocalized. 
And then, more crap:
When I was a kid, we didn't GET treats! We never asked for treats and when we got them, we were grateful and it was special so it was actually a TREAT!
And the crap kept coming:
Because we were not SPOILED like you kids are! You get treats all the time! At school, there is always chocolate and candy on any type of special day. Everytime we go to the store, you ask for a treat. And you usually get one! If we go to run errands, gas up the car, wash the car, you want a treat.  It's not a TREAT if you get it all the time.
So I am putting my foot down. Treats are going to be TREATS. When I choose. No more.

The boys stared at me.  I could tell that they were not sure if I was serious, or if I had shot out an entire marins of bullshit.  Or fish-shit, if we're talking marinas.  Maybe lobster.  Do they shit? Anyway, I now have to follow through with all this.  And remember that back in my day, we had no treats, Easter was only about Jesus and chocolate was barely invented, and that we were true god-fearing, parent-fearing kids.
That never got treats.
Or spoiled.

I was not habitually spoiled, but there were times when we were. We did get treats. Regularly. Most often on piano lesson days...oh the irony...I know...Although I was also used to my dad pulling into a gas station, buying himself a coke and beef jerky, and nothing for the rest of us.
And I used to think: Woe is me! I'm just a poor kid who doesn't get any beef jerky!
Now I think: My dad was right! I worked hard all day and all I want is my OWN beef jerky that does not have to be cut into FIVE pieces! And caffeine will turn the kids into monsters! No coke for them! Or sugar! SLOBBERYMANGYMESSYSCHLARB!

Ugh.  Not an especially poignant mothering story.  But I am sure that I am not the only one who has embellished how poor their upbringing was to make their kids feel bad/grateful.
In fact, I remember hearing about how in my mom's day, they only got an orange for Christmas. 
Now I am rethinking that.  Was it really only an orange? Or was it an orange the way I never got treats? Or was never spoiled? A little embellishment to make us kids feel grateful and sorry for our parents at the same time...cuz that's totally what I just did, and it came out so naturally, it makes me question all of the stories my elders told me when I was young.
Uphill both ways?
Walking five miles to school in wool socks and rubber covers when it was minus 40?
The STRAP?? With a whacking stick?


  1. Oh Sarah!! If I were a better friend I would say "Poor Sarah, parenting can be so tough" ...instead I laughed hahahahaha cause we have yet another thing in common!haha
    FYI....the next step with Sasha will be the darn iPod or computer will be saying " When we were kids we didnt even have a home computer and IF we did we certainly weren't saucy to our parents after using it! (blah blah blah)" and in my case "And all we had on was a VIC20 computer and the game was a little stick that hit a ball!"

  2. Oh too funny! My kids get indignant when they don't get at least one treat a day and I have definitely pulled the "treats are special" thing. But to be honest I actually don't remember us having store bought treats much when we were kids. I think we were pretty poor and I just didn't know it.
    I'm the one that needs to quit buying them and bringing them into the house!


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