Colin makes a lot of requests.
He could put the demands of celebrities to shame, if given the chance. He always wants more. He’s not ungrateful – not in the typical sense of the word. He just always wants to know what’s next. And if something’s good, of course he wants more! It’s a natural impulse. Most of us are just raised that it’s impolite to ask for more – you should just say “Thank you.” We’re trying to help Colin with this, too, of course – it makes for less awkward social situations – but it’s a bit of an uphill battle. On the best days, we might get the oh-so-polite, “Thank you for frozen yogurt – can I taste yours?” Or a thank you followed by, “Can I have the last bite?” (What he really means is “can I have one last bite ” – typically the “last bite” he’s requesting doesn’t exist because it’s all gone!)
You could tell him we’re going to Disney World, and the minute you arrive, he’d ask if he’s going to get to go to Sea World next (hypothetically – not sure he knows either place exists!). If you said no, he’d have a meltdown. This can be really frustrating for parents trying to give their kids everything they can. We’re not wealthy, but we try to make sure our kids have fun. Whether it’s a trip to the park (free!) or finding discounted tickets to the zoo, kids’ museum, etc – we try to get out and do a little something fun at least once every weekend. When you walk into a fun place that set you back a bit and the first thing your son does is ask for something better, it can really be a blow to the ol’ ego.
And “No” can set him back or throw him completely off into a tailspin, depending on the time of day, tiredness, and so on.
Colin has come up with an interesting alternative to “No.”
When you say, “No,” he often counters with, “One day? We can go there one day?”
“One day” brings hope and allows daydreams. “One day” doesn’t let him down the way “No” does. “Maybe” doesn’t even hold the same power. If it’s not “Yes” then it has to be, “Yes, one day.”
Some days I envy his optimism. I need to stop thinking that I’ll “never” do certain things and tell myself that “one day” I will.